'Neither Bolt Nor Chain, Iron Safe, Nor Private Watchman, Can Prevent the Theft of Words': The Birth of the Performing Right in Britain
Chapter in - Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently (eds), Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright, Open Book Publishers, 2010
33 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2014
Date Written: August 1, 2010
This book chapter examines the history of dramatic copyright in Britain. It look at the enactment of the Dramatic Copyright Act and describes the role played by the dramatists of the day as well as the key role played by Edward Bulwer Lytton. It then goes on to consider how the new rights were managed in practice, through the establishment of the first British collecting society, the Dramatic Authors' Society. The chapter looks at the ways that the rights were subsequently interpreted by the courts in the latter part of the 19th century, and the career of Harry Wall, who was possibly the first 'copyright troll'.
Keywords: copyright, legal history, dramatic works
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