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consists entirely in the sentiment and the language : the same conceptions clothed in the same words must necessarily be the same composition; and whatever method be taken of exhibiting that composition to the ear or the eye of another, by recital, by writing, or by printing, in any number of copies, or at any period of time, it is always the identical work of the author which is so exhibited ; and no other man, it hath been thought, can have a right to exhibit it, especially for profit, without the author's consent.” This exclusive property of an author in his work is called COPYRIGHT, the existence of which, and its perpetual duration, at common law, have been much disputed. Opinions have been entertained by the most learned on either side of the question. In the case of Millar v. Taylor, 4 Burr. 2303., it was determined by three judges, one of them Lord Mansfield, (Mr. Justice Yates not concurring,) that an exclusive and permanent copyright in authors subsisted by the common law: the elaborate judgments given by their lordships on that occasion have been much admired for their argument and eloquence. The decision, however, in the case of Donaldson v. Beckett, 4 Burr. 2408., before the House of Lords, overthrew the former ruling, and held that no copyright subsisted in authors after the expiration of the several terms created by the 8 Anne, c. 19., which then formed the statute law on the subject. The new Copyright Act, the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45., in its second section, defines the term COPYRIGHT to mean " the sole and exclusive liberty of printing, or otherwise multiplying copies of any subject to which the word is applied in that act.”
A literary production, entitled to the protection of the law of copyright, is not only a work printed or written for the purpose of reading only; it may be any book or writing which conveys ideas to the mind by means of signs and marks. The term, therefore, applies to compositions consisting entirely of music, of mathematical or algebraic figures, or of any hieroglyphics whatsoever : Bach v. Longman, Cowp. 623. Nor is it requisite that the work be a volume of several sheets; it may be printed on one sheet only: nor does it lose its character of a book by being included with other compositions, even though the whole bear a different title from its own: so is there a copyright in notes, and new corrections and additions to an old work ; só also in abridgments and translations, and in reviews and literary journals : Hime v. Dale, 11 East, 244. n.; Clementi v. Goulding, 11 East, 244.; White v. Geroch, 2 B & A. 298. ; Cary v. Longman, 1 East, 358. ; 3 Ves. & Bea. 77.
Pursuant to the second section of the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45. (THE NEW COPYRIGHT ACT, which is given at full in the Appendix, No. 3.), the word “ Book,” in the construction of that statute, is to mean and include “ every volume, part or division of a volume, pamphlet, sheet of letter-press, sheet of music, map, chart, or plan, separately published.”
REPEAL OF FORMER ACTS BY THE 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45. — It will be well to here observe, once for all, that the first section of this new Copyright Act, the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45., repeals the 8 Anne, c. 19., the 41 G.3. c. 107., and the 54 G. 3. c. 156., the former copyright acts, except so far as the continuance of either of them may be necessary for carrying on or giving effect to any proceedings at law or in equity pending at the time of its passing (the 1st July, 1842), or for enforcing any cause of action or suit, or any right or contract then subsisting.
THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF LITERARY COPYRIGHT,
AND THE EXTENT OF THEIR DURATION.
There are three different kinds of literary copyright. 1. The copyright possessed by the Crown or its patentees, called the Prerogative Copyright; 2. The copyright belonging to certain universities and colleges ; 3. The copyright of authors and their assignees.
1. PREROGATIVE COPYRIGHT. – The first of these, the Prerogative Copyright, is the exclusive right of the Queen and her patentees to print the Acts of Parliament, proclamations and orders of council, the Bible, the liturgies and books of divine service, and, according to some, such law books, grammars, and other compositions as were compiled or translated at the expense of the Crown: 2 Bl. Comm. 410. This prerogative copyright, however, rests upon dubious grounds. The question has been much discussed ; and although decisions have gone in favour of the Crown, it is still not satisfactorily settled : Baskett v. the Univ. of Camb., 1 Bl. Rep. 105. ; Millar v. Taylor, 4 Burrow, 2303. ; Roper v. Streater, 4 Burr. 2316.; S. C. 1 Mod. 257., See 2 Ves. & Bea. 21.; Godson on Patents, last edition, 432. It is clear that there is no prerogative right to printing the Bible in the original languages, nor has any attempt ever been made to prevent publishing a part of the Bible, or the Statutes, or sending them
forth to the world with notes: Grierson v. Jackson, Ridgway's Rep. 304. ; Millar v. Taylor, 4 Burrow, 2308. Formerly, the Crown claimed a prerogative in printing almanacks, but its patent for this was afterwards declared to be void : 2 Bl. Rep. 1004. When, however, a prerogative copyright does exist, it is unlimited as to time.
2. UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGIATE COPYRIGHT. Pursuant to the 15 G. 3. c. 53. s. 1., the 41 G. 3. c. 107. s. 3., and also to the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45. s. 27., by which last statute their rights are saved to them, the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the colleges within them, the four universities in Scotland, Trinity College, Dublin, and the colleges of Eton, Westminster, and Winchester, have a copyright in books given or bequeathed to them for advancement of useful learning and other purposes of education : this copyright they hold in perpetuity, if the bequest is not expressly stated to be for a limited term, and if they continue to print at their own presses. Nevertheless, they have a power of selling, in the like manner as authors, the general copyright of works so given or bequeathed to them, but the perpetual privilege of exclusive publication ceases upon such assignment; since no university or college can delegate, grant, lease, or sell the monopoly itself.
The two universities of Oxford and Cambridge also share the right of the sovereign to print the Bible and the Statutes, but this privilege accrues to them only as grantees of the Crown.
3. GENERAL COPYRIGHT. — As regards the more general copyright, that of authors, the law has been varied and enlarged at different periods. The
8 Anne, c. 19. (passed 18th April, 1710), gave to the author or proprietor of a book then already printed the sole and exclusive right of printing it for twenty years. To the author and his assignee of a work then already composed, but not published, or of a work that should thereafter be composed and published, it gave the sole liberty to print and reprint it for the term of fourteen years and no longer, to commence from the day of its first publication; and it was further provided, that if the author should be living at the expiration of that term, then the sole right of disposing of the copies of the work should return to him for another term of fourteen years. By the 41 G. 3. c. 107. the law of copyright in Ireland was assimilated to that of Great Britain. In the 54 G. 3. c. 156. (passed the 29th July, 1814), all the provisions of the former statutes were consolidated ; considerable alteration was at the same time made in the law; the term of copyright in the author and his assignee was extended to twenty-eight years absolutely, and for the life of the author; and to benefit the families of those authors who were alive at the time the act passed, but who might die before the first fourteen years from the day of publishing their works had expired, a further term of fourteen years was given to the personal representatives of the authors, without prejudice to all or any part of the former term.
The 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45., which extends to every part of the British dominions, repeals (with certain exceptions, see p. 3.) the above statutes, and makes still further alteration and addition. By the third sect. of the 5 & 6 Vict. c.45., it is enacted, “ That THE COPYRIGHT IN EVERY BOOK, which shall, after the passing