Baller v. Watson: Entry from the Court's Book of Orders, London (1737)

Source: The National Archives: c.33 369/315

Baller v. Watson: Entry from the Court's Book of Orders, London (1737), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1737a

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Full title:
Baller v. Watson: Entry from the Court of Chancery's Book of Orders

Full title original language:

The commentary describes the circumstances which led Gay to publish the work himself, by subscription, as well as the success he enjoyed (albeit posthumously) in preventing unauthorised versions of the work from being published. That a 'perpetual' injunction was granted at the conclusion of the litigation was subsequently interpreted, by advocates of common law copyright, to suggest that, regardless of the Statute of Anne, the Lord Chancellor considered copyright to be a perpetual right.

1 Commentary:

  • Goldgar, B.A., Walpole and the Wits: The Relation of Politics to Literature, 1722-1742 (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 1976)

  • Greene, J., The Trouble with Ownership: Literary Property and Authorial Liability in England, 1660-1730 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005)

Related documents in this database:
1729: Gay v. Read

Author: N/A

Publisher: Unpublished

Year: 1737

Location: London

Language: English

Source: The National Archives: c.33 369/315

Persons referred to:
Aris, Samuel
Astley, Thomas
Baller, Katherine
Fortescue, Joanna
Gay, John
Jeffreys, Francis
Read, Thomas
Talbot, Charles, 1st Baron Talbot
Thompson, T.
Walker, Jeffrey
Walker, Robert
Watson, James
Wright, John

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Stationers' Company
Stationers' Hall

Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Anne, c.19

authors, self-publishing
common law copyright
dramatico-musical works, protected subject matter
perpetual protection
property theory, authors' property

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

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