Copyright Act (534 words)

Historical Context Essay

  • Jennie Batchelor (University of Kent at Canterbury)

The Statute of Anne, the first copyright act, came into effect on 10 April 1710. The “Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned” was designed to prevent the “Printing, Reprinting, and Publishing” of books without “the Consent of the Authors or Proprietors of such Books and Writings”. The Statute (8 Anne c. 19., passed in 1709, instituted a period of copyright for twenty-one years for any book already published when the act came into force, and granted to the authors of new books copyright for a period of fourteen years, after which time the “sole right of Printing” returned to the author (assuming he/she …

Batchelor, Jennie. "Copyright Act". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2004
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]