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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Chapter 24 - Copyright and Literary Property

from Part III - Practical Perspectives


The world’s first copyright act established a contradiction between access to content and the rights of the creator (or the purchaser of his or her copies) that has yet to be resolved more than three hundred years later.2 The right to print and reprint books as recognized in the Statute of Anne (1710) only lasted for a limited period (fourteen years if the book was new; a further fourteen if the author remained alive at the end of the initial period), though this gradually increased in the ensuing centuries. The 1842 Copyright Act provided post mortem protection to authors for the first time – this was further strengthened in Britain under the 1911 Copyright Act, which gave protection for fifty years after the author’s death, and which was extended to seventy years in 1995, in line with EU legislation.