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Columbia Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2010

"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The rise in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of a professional class of writers stimulated authors' demands for better remuneration from their writings. The increase in authors who sought to live from their work, rather than from patronage or personal fortune, likely provided at least one impulse for the author-protective provisions of the 1710 Statute of Anne. Under the regime of printing privileges that preceded the Statute of Anne, authors generally received from publisher-booksellers a one-time payment, made when the authors surrendered their manuscripts for publication. Authors whose works enjoyed particularly high demand might negotiate additional payments for new editions ...