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Journal

Intellectual Property Law

Pace Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

How The United States Stopped Being A Pirate Nation And Learned To Love International Copyright, John A. Rothchild Apr 2019

How The United States Stopped Being A Pirate Nation And Learned To Love International Copyright, John A. Rothchild

Pace Law Review

From the time of the first federal copyright law in 1790 until enactment of the International Copyright Act in 1891, U.S. copyright law did not apply to works by authors who were not citizens or residents of the United States. U.S. publishers took advantage of this lacuna in the law, and the demand among American readers for books by popular British authors, by reprinting the books of these authors without their authorization and without paying a negotiated royalty to them.

This Article tells the story of how proponents of extending copyright protections to foreign authors—called international copyright ...