Charles Reade's Roles in the Drama of Victorian Dramatic Copyright
50 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 8, 2009
The following article describes the eccentric dramatist, novelist, journalist, and barrister Charles Reade’s direct involvement in shaping the UK law of copyright - particularly copyright in dramatic works. In addition to publishing his writings on the subject, he was active in bringing and supporting suits that led directly to changes in the law protecting dramatic works, as well as the formation of the Royal Commission on Copyright in 1875. His own questionable dealings with the works of others, however, provide a counterpoint to his zealous arguments in favor of protection, as exemplified by the story of his dramatization of Ralph the Heir, a novel written by Royal Commission member Anthony Trollope.
Keywords: copyright law, drama, Victorian, play, adaptation, Reade, Trollope, Royal Commission on Copyright
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