Literary Copyright Reform in Early Victorian England: The Framing of the 1842 Copyright Act

By Catherine Seville | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1
INTRODUCTION

The subject of this book is Serjeant Talfourd's back-bench attempt to reform the law of copyright, an attempt which eventually produced the Copyright Act of 1842. The idea of reform is potent in the history of England in the nineteenth century. It would be impossible to write a general history of the period without giving an account of the major constitutional reforms concerned with popular representation, which eventually transformed parliament. Yet other contemporary legislative reforms are arguably as striking, both in terms of their volume, and in terms of the changes which resulted. The many attempts to improve the law and its mechanisms make this period a significant one for legal history. In the decade following the 1832 Reform Act, approaches to government in the widest sense were re-examined and transformed. This process had protean qualities: striking though the direction and velocity of the immediate changes could be, they often represented only the first phase of lengthy trajectories.

Nevertheless, it would be foolhardy (and unduly Whiggish) to regard these changes as inevitable; they were the product of many complex and conflicting forces. Although nineteenth-century legislators did create a battery of significant reforms, the antecedents and characteristics of individual measures varied considerably. To take the example central to this book, the changes to copyright law which resulted from the 1842 Copyright Act were not overtly typical of a reforming brief. However, the efforts to promote the various copyright measures (which began in 1836) were profoundly affected by the prevailing mood of reform, and the methods and mechanisms associated with it. Talfourd had originally envisaged a thoroughgoing consolidation of all aspects of copyright, an aim which might have been thought consistent with general reforming objectives. Such an assumption ignores the

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Literary Copyright Reform in Early Victorian England: The Framing of the 1842 Copyright Act
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 300

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?