The Making of British Colonial Copyright

Michael D Birnhack

in Colonial Copyright

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199661138
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746147 | DOI:
The Making of British Colonial Copyright

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This chapter examines the making of colonial copyright in the British Empire at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. It outlines various imperial patterns of diffusing the law. Most of the research done thus far on this topic was told from a British perspective. An important exception is Lionel Bently’s work, who pointed to two stages of the British policy: first, the absence of an imperial strategy, and secondly, a trend towards uniformity. This chapter nuances these observations and further adds the phase immediately after the enactment of the Imperial Copyright Act 1911, when the interest in uniformity turned to a well-coordinated strategy to assure that uniformity is achieved. This has manifested itself in the treatment of customs and criminal copyright law. The 1847 Foreign Reprint Act and international schemes of protection, including the Berne Convention and its Berlin Revision, are contextualized within this discussion.

Keywords: imperial policy; foreign reprint act; Berne convention; Berlin revision; international copyright; Imperial Copyright Act 1911; customs; criminal copyright

Chapter.  10772 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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