Tonson v. Collins, London (1762)

Source: Lincoln's Inn Library

Tonson v. Collins, London (1762), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1762

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Full title:
Tonson v. Collins (1762) 1 Black W. 321

Full title original language:

Significant case in which the arguments for and against the existence of copyright at common law were extensively debated for the first time before the Court of King's Bench. Both William Blackstone (author of Commentaries Upon the Laws of England, and one of the judges to hold in favour of the common law right in Donaldson v. Becket (1774) (uk_1774)) and Joseph Yates (who would later provide the dissenting opinion in Millar v. Taylor (1769) (uk_1769)) appeared on behalf of the plaintiff and the defendant respectively.

1 Commentary:

  • Rose, M., Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright (London, Harvard University Press, 1993)

  • Feather, J., Publishing, Piracy and Politics: An Historical Study of Copyright in Britain (London, Mansell, 1994)

  • Deazley, R., On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright Law in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1695-1775) (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2004)

Related documents in this database:
1761: Tonson v. Collins
1762: An Enquiry into Literary Property
1762: A Vindication of the Rights of Authors
1766: Blackstone's Commentaries, Vol.II (selected extracts)

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1762

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Lincoln's Inn Library

Persons referred to:
Allestree, Richard
Bacon, Francis
Bagford, John
Blackstone, William
Bynkershoek, Cornelis van
Caesar, Gaius Julius
Coke, Sir Edward
Collins, Benjamin
Grotius, Hugo
Harcourt, Simon, 1st Viscount
Hoyle, Edmond
Hyde, Edward, 1st Earl of Clarendon
James I
Jekyll, Joseph
Juvenal, Decimus Junius Juvenalis
Kames, Henry Home, Lord
Locke, John
Mansfield, William Murray, 1st Earl
Milton, John
Nelson, Robert
Newton, Sir Isaac
Newton, Thomas
Numa Pompilius
Parker, Thomas
Pemberton, Sir Francis
Pope, Alexander
Prideaux, Humphrey
Pufendorf, Samuel, Freiherr von
Rolle, Henry
Roscius, Quintus
Seymour, Sir Edward
Statius, Publius Papinius
Steele, Sir Richard
Swift, Jonathan
Talbot, Charles, 1st Baron Talbot
Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron
Tonson, Jacob
Tottell, Richard
Warburton, William
Yorke, Philip, 1st Earl of Hardwicke

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Court of Chancery
Court of King's Bench
House of Lords
See of Canterbury
Stationers' Company
Stationers' Hall

Licensing Act, 1662, 13 & 14 Car.II, c.33
Licensing Act, 1685, 1 Jac.II, c.17
Magna Carta, 1297, 25 Edw.I, c.9
Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Anne, c.19
Statute of Monopolies, 1624, 21 Jac.I, c.3

common law copyright
copying, concept of
labour theory
natural rights
patents, for invention
patents, printing
property analogies
property theory
property theory, authors' property
public domain
public performance
scribal publication

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

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