A. Analyze 19Th Cent. Book Piracy

A. Analyze 19Th Cent. Book Piracy

I. Statement of Purpose

A. Analyze 19th cent. Book piracy

1. Copyright law

(a) Chronologically – to grasp timeline

2. Anglophone publishing industry (1800-1900)

(a) Topically – to grasp major ideas

B. ID universal truths

1. Contextualize today’s international Anglophone pub. industry

2. Understand nuances of international copyright

II. Intro

A. Set the scene – c. 1800

1. Wake of U.S. and French revolutions

2. Imperial Britain= UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada

(a) Post-Colonial leftovers

3. U.S. is book-pirating capital of the world – a.k.a. the “Barbary Coast of Literature”

4. Industrial Revolutions

B. Century revolved around tension of 3 copyright philosophies

1. France – tous la liberté

2. Britain – initiate copyright law to increase literacy

3. U.S. – nationalistic and protectionist

III. International Copyright Law – brief timeline

A. Issues

1. Printers/publishers not paying royalties

2. Unauthorized copying/reproduction

3. Inaccurate/lesser quality sold as real deal

4. Content Leaks/Deposit copy leaks

B. 1837 – U.S. publishers resist attempts at international copyright law

C. 1838 – Victoria’s 1 & 2 c. 59

1. First international copyright act - provisions

2. Term “copyright” not used

3. Reciprocal copyright laws with other nations

D. 1842 – The Imperial Copyright Act

E. 1887 – Berne Convention

1. U.S. – Selective Adherence

F. 1891 – The Chace Act

1. First federally protected copyright of foreign-written material in U.S. history

2. Inadequacies of the act as expounded by the case of author John Ruskin and his publisher George Allen in the 1890s

IV. Why was U.S. the “Barbary Coast of Literature? (1800-1850)

A. Weak domestic publishing industry

1. Few U.S. others to complain about their lack of protection

2. U.S. industry gains footing by underselling foreign books

B. Weak central government

1. Civil War

2. Beholden to special interests

C. Suspicious of British control

1. Nationalism/Protectionism

D. Invention of the Steam Engine

1. Better transportation = faster communication = better U.S. ability to undersell

2. Dolby quoting Dickens directly, “in his ‘experiences he never found any people willing to pay for a thing they could legally steal.’” (Kappel and Patten, 30).

V. Change in the tide (1850-1900)

A. Canadian Piracy of U.S. books

1. “Concerns about Canadian piracies of works by American authors created as much tension in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century as those about American piracies of works by British authors had created in the United Kingdom in the first half.” (Victorian Web)

2. 1889 - Ottawa passes law making most U.S. publications fair game (Allingham)

3. The Case of Mark Twain (Rasmussen, 1995)

(a) 1876- Belford in Toronto issues Tom Sawyer before U.S. edition is released.

B. British pirating of colonial works

1. Lack of Australian protection in Britain – U.S./Aussie/Brit authored serial fiction imported into Britain.

VI. Resolution between nations… or not

A. 1867 – Parton’s Atlantic Monthly letters

1. Turning point in sentiment of U.S. publishers

B. U.S. non-compliance and exceptions to int. copyright acts

1. Decline of piracy

C. Proliferation of U.S. publishing

1. NYC surpassing London as publishing capital of the world

2. U.S. publishing industry grows to competitive size = piracy of other nations’ works not as lucrative

D. Proliferation of U.S. Authorship

1. U.S. authors grow in stature – demand their own protection

2. U.S. authors only guaranteed protection abroad if U.S. signs international copyright treaty which means giving up piracy

E. 1896 - U.S. joins International Copyright Union

1. Mark Twain’s role

VII. Summary/Significance

A. 19th cent. = birth of international copyright conventions

1. Royalties system invented c. 1840

2. Dictionary of American History quote, “The nineteenth century set a pattern of trends in the publishing industry that would continue into following centuries.”

B. Birth of international community of authors

C. Rise of American authorship

1. Birth of short story

2. Magazines

3. Playwright issues

VIII. Conclusion

A. Codependence of Anglophone nations’ publishing industries despite political distrust

1. Decline in U.S. demand for British publications = decline in piracy but also a decline in British exports to the U.S.

B. Further research required

1. Relationships between industry development and piracy

(a) Historically: U.S./Canadian book piracy
(b) Currently: Chinese piracy of Windows XP, and global piracy of U.S. music artists
(c) Goal - develop international investment plans as clauses in international copyright agreements – mentoring and investing in capital for foreign businesses could offset losses incurred by these same foreign industries’ piracy of the developed country’s product.

Reference List

Allingham, P. (2001). "Nineteenth-century British and American copyright law." The Victorian web. Retrieved from

Barnes, J. J., & Patience, P. (1988). Copyright. In Victorian Britain: An encyclopedia (pp.192-193). New York: Garland.

Kappel, A., & Patten, R. L. (1978). “Dickens’ second American reading tour and his ‘utterly worthless and profitless’ American rights.” Dickens Studies Annual, 7, 1-33

Keefe, H. J. (1939). A century in print: The story of Hazell's 1839-1939. London: Hazell, Watson & Viney, ltd.

Maidment, B. (1981). “John Ruskin, George Allen and American pirated books.” Publishing History, 9, 5-20.

Patry, W. F. (2009). Patry on fair use. Eagan, Minnesota : Thomson Reuters.

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. (2009). Sinking the copyright pirates. [electronic resource] : Global protection of intellectual property : hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress ( first session, April 6, 2009).Washington : U.S. G.P.O.

World copyright law. (2009). [electronic resource]. St. Paul, Minnesota : Thomson/West.

Wyzalek, J. (2003)."Publishing industry." Dictionary of American history. Retrieved from <