Copyright @ 300: Looking Back at the Statute of Anne and Looking Forward to Challenges of the Future

Date(s) of Conference:

April 9-12, 2010


Claremont Hotel Club & Spa
41 Tunnel Road
Berkeley, CA 94705


2010 will mark the 300th anniversary of The Statute of Anne, the first modern copyright law. Enacted in 1710 by the English Parliament, the statute represented a marked departure from the Stationers Company’s pre-modern “copie-right” regime which preceded it. Among other things, the Statute of Anne articulated a rationale for a grant of protection — encouraging learned men to write books; it vested rights in authors; it allowed copyright only in newly created books; and it limited the term of copyright to fourteen years, after which the book entered the public domain (unless the author renewed his claim for another fourteen years).

The tricentennial of the Statute of Anne is a suitable occasion for looking back at the law’s influence on the history and evolution of the Anglo-American copyright tradition. It is also an opportunity to look forward — to explore how the lessons from this history might help us surmount the challenges that lie ahead for copyright law in the twenty-first century.

Contact Information:

Louise Lee:


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