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The Historical Law and Economics of the First Copyright Act

Keywords: Copyright , Historical law and economics

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In this paper, an economic analysis of the first copyright Act, the Statute of Anne of 1710, is described. Part I covers the emergence of common law copy-right and the enactment of the Statute of Anne. Part II examines the provisions of the Statute of Anne from a law and economic perspective, and shows that contrary to popular belief that the Statute of Anne strengthened publishers' monopoly power, the provisions had the effect, at least in theory, of reducing the market power of copyright owners. In all, this paper provides a historical law and economic perspective of one aspect of copyright law.


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