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exclusive right in mechanical inventions would really, to some extent, involve“ an appropriation of ideas,”* a perpetual literary copyright leaves the use of the ideas free to all the world.

I do not dwell on many minor, though not entirely unimportant, distinctions, which further difference these two kinds of copyright. It may suffice merely to indicate a few of them: e. g. in most cases the reward of an ingenious and useful machine will be far more immediate than that of any equally ingenious and useful book; in most cases, too, even the imitation of such a machine involves considerable thought and labour, but the piratical reprinting of a book involves neither ;-and above all, in the case of the most important mechanical inventions, there is, from their very nature, a strong probability of independent reproduction, which, in the case of equally important books, does not exist at all. No one imagines that if Shakspeare had not written Hamlet, anybody else would have written it. On the other hand it is more than probable, that if Arkwright had not invented his important improvements in spinning machinery, Crumpton would, ere long, have discovered similar improvements. But it is not, I repeat, on these minor differences that I wish to insist.

Nor do I enter upon any elaborate arguments to prove that the interests of authors and inventors, and those of the public, are precisely the same. I believe, indeed, that the more closely the question is examined the more plainly will this truth be manifest. But it is sufficient for me that the careful maintenance of the rights of property is the interest of the public, and that this, and nothing else, is what authors and inventors claim at the hands of the Legislature.

•.“ An appropriation of ideas."-See the celebrated argument of Mr. Justice Yates in Millar v. Taylor, reported in 4 Burrows, 2,303 seq. ; and Mr. Hargrave's notes.

I inter then, that, as regards the productions of the author, the sculptor, the engraver, or the composer, there is nothing in their nature which should limit the term of the secure enjoyment of them, or in any way preclude the full participation in all the rights accorded by law to property in general; and that, as regards mechanical and chemical inventions, there is that in their nature which renders it necessary to limit the term of property in them, for the purpose of securing fair and equal protection to all inventors of every grade.

c. 156.

I proceed to enquire what sort of protection is actually Actual

State of afforded to these several kinds of property, by the law

Copyright of Great Britain in its present state. And first, of Protection. COPYRIGHT in Books.

By the 54th Geo. III. c. 156, books * are secured to 1. of Books, the author for twenty-eight years, with reversion for the 54 Geo. II. remainder of his life, should he survive that term. It is to be observed that, by the common law of England, as solemnly expounded by a majority of seven to four of the judges, and as sustained by the additional opinion Common of Lord Mansfield, the author of an original work had law as laid FOR EVER the sole right of multiplying copies, and Donaldson

v. Becket. remedy by action, incident to every right, against any 4 Burr. who should infringe it.

This limitation of the ancient rights of authorship Speech, by statute,” said Mr. Serjeant Talfourd, in his admirable May 18, speech on first moving the House of Commons for leave Bill June 6, to bring in a bill 'to consolidate the law relating to 7 Will. IV. copyright,' has not been compensated by uniformity Statutable in the details of the law, by simplicity in the modes of not comproving the right or of transferring it, or by the cheap- pensated

either by ness or adequacy of the remedies. The penal clauses certainty of

remedy, or • The words of the Act, like those of the former Act of the 8th of Anne, are, books and other writings. Bach v. Longman (Cowp. 623), it was held by Lord Mansfield that music was within the last-named Act.


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c. 13.

c. 38.

by simpli- have proved wholly worthless and no provision city and cheapness

is made for cheap transfer.” of transfer. We proceed to the case of PRINTS:2. Of Engraved

By the 8th George II. chap. 13, the inventor or dePrints. signer of any print has the exclusive privilege of pub8 Geo. II.

lishing copies of it for the term of fourteen years. This term is extended to twenty-eight years, by the 7th

George III. chap. 38, and is vested in all who either 7 Geo. III.

invent and engrave the design, or who engrave from the design or picture of another. And it includes “the prints of any portrait, conversation, landscape, or architecture, map, chart, or plan, or any other print.” The remedy for infringement is an action on the case for damages, which are recoverable at the rate of five shillings for each pirated copy "published, sold, or exposed to sale," and all such copies are to be forfeited and destroyed.* Under either of these statutes actions

must be brought within six months. Gev. III. The 17th George III. chap. 57, further gives the pro

prietor an action for damages, with double taxed costs. No limitation is here imposed as to the period of bringing the action. It results, then, that engraved prints have the same term as books, but without any contingent interest on the author's surviving that term.


of these

Evid. on
Arts, &c.
Sess. 1835,
p. 66.
(Q. 943-6.)

With respect to the practical value of the protection thus afforded, it will suffice to quote the evidence of Mr. Martin, the celebrated painter and engraver.

“The expense,” says Mr. Martin, speaking of the attempt to protect the copyright in his engravings, “is so great, that even if we gain our action we sustain a great loss, and can only recover so much as we can prove have been sold; and it is no easy matter to prove more than the sale of one or two prints, although we may know a

* These statutes only apply to engravings taken from pirated plates, and not to such

may have been struck off illegally from a lawful plate. - See Murray v. Heath. 1 Barnewell and Alderson's Reports, 1804.

thousand have been sold; we are therefore ruined if we go to law.
I have, in my own person, experienced great losses from the system,
as the French copies from my works are brought over from France
and sold in every part of the country. .. Various shops in
Windsor have got my works lithographed, and selling at very low
prices, to my complete ruin; and if I am not protected by some new
law, I shall be compelled entirely to leave that branch of the pro-
fession by which I live; for my pictures are so extensive and cost
me so much labour, that I cannot subsist by painting.
I applied for an injunction to prevent a person from exhibiting a
copy of my work (Belshazzar's Feast) in a sort of diorama, in Oxford
street, a most infamous piece of painting, and the public were given
to understand that I was the painter. I endeavoured to stop the
exhibition by an injunction, but was referred to a jury: . . . the
plagiarist is not only safe from prosecution, on account of the ex-
pense of such prosecution outweighing all the advantages that can be
derived from a verdict; but, as in this case he even comes into the
field with a cheaper production, supported by all the effect of the ad-
vertisements, and other expensive means of publicity that my own
performance had led me to adopt, he not only robs me of my ideas,
but establishes a lucrative trade on the effects of my pecuniary out-
lay; . . . if then, in the case of pirated copies of my engravings, I
do by chance obtain a verdict from a jury, I can only recover the
amount of what I can prove the defendant to have actually sold,
which is my sole compensation for the thousands that are known to
have been sold, but which it would be impossible to prove by evi.
dence, since open-book accounts of such transactions are never kept.
Or, in the case of a picture being copied for a dioramic or other ex-
hibition, suppose that, on applying for the injunction, his honour is
not able to distinguish the difference between a picture of Belshaz-
zar's Feast and a piece of lace, and leaves it for a jury to decide
whether a diorama is to be considered a painting, or a copy coming
under the meaning of the Act; all the satisfaction [ obtain is heavy

expenses, with the certainty of an enormous increase if I hazard an action. The above cases are surely enough to prove that there is no efficient protection."

By the 38 George III. cap. 71, the sole right of 3. Of Ori-

ginal Sculpmaking copies of new models, busts, statues, “or any ture, Mowork in which the representation of any human figure

dels, &c.

38 Geo.III. or figures, or the representation of any animal or animals c. 71.


c. 56.

shall be introduced, or any new cast from nature of any part or parts of the human figure, or of any part or parts of any animal,” is vested in the maker or proprietor thereof for the term of fourteen years, provided the name of the maker and the date of publication be put thereon. Persons making copies without the written consent of the proprietor, duly attested, may be sued for damages in a special action on the case.

This Act was found to be so defective, that it was Godson, actually held to be no offence to make a cast of a bust,

provided it were a perfect fac-simile of the original. It 54 Geo. III. was the purpose of the 54th Geo. Ill. c. 56, to remedy

these defects, and to give double costs in actions for piracy, together with an additional term of fourteen years in case the maker or original proprietor of such models, busts, statues, or casts, “or of such subject being matter of invention in sculpture,” should then be living, and should not have sold his copyright.

Such works of sculpture, then, as can be brought within the terms of the enacting clauses of the Act last mentioned have copyright for half the present period of books and prints, or fourteen years, with a contingent right on the inventor's surviving that term, not for the remainder of his life (as in the case with books) but for

a second term of fourteen years only. Omissions But it will be seen that a large and increasingly im

portant class of works are wholly excluded, even from

the protection accorded by this statute. For example, Bronze. a model of arabesque scrolls, or of foliage of any

description, however costly and beautiful the design, may be Arts' Evid. pirated with impunity. In clocks, candelabra, and the 1.Q. 592-3. like, works of this kind continually occur.

Mr. J. Buonarotti Papworth, the eminent architect, states that

piracy is common in works of architectural ornament; Ib. 1253-9. that artists will not execute a fine design on their own

account, well knowing that as soon as they have sold

of this Statute.

Architectural Or. nament.

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