Millar v. Taylor, London (1769)

Source: Lincoln's Inn Library

Millar v. Taylor, London (1769), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1769

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Full title:
Millar v. Taylor (1769) 4 Burr. 2303

Full title original language:

Decision of the Court of King's Bench providing that, regardless of the provisions of the Statute of Anne (uk_1710), an author enjoyed the exclusive right of publishing his work in perpetuity. Lord Mansfield, leading a majority decision of the court, provides a robust and influential justification as to the existence of an author's rights in literary property at common law. Yates, J., focussing upon the potential detriment to the public that would flow from the existence of a perpetual right, provides the dissenting opinion. The commentary explores the background to the litigation, in particular the nature of the threat which the Scottish reprint industry posed to the London book trade, relevant case-law leading up to the decision, as well as the substance of the judicial opinions.

1 Commentary:

  • Walters, G., 'The Booksellers in 1759 and 1774: The Battle for Literary Property', The Library, 5th ser., 29 (1974): 287-311

  • McDougall, W., 'Scottish books for America in the mid 18th Century'. In Spreading the Word: The Distribution Networks of Print 155-1850. Edited by Myers, R., and Harris, M. (Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1990), 21-46

  • McDougall, W., 'Copyright Litigation in the Court of Session, 1738-1749, and the Rise of the Scottish Book Trade', Transactions, 5 (1988): 2-31

  • 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:

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1769

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Lincoln's Inn Library

Persons referred to:
Adams, Richard
Alfred, the Great
Ames, Joseph
Annesley, Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey
Ashurst, William
Aston, Richard
Atkyns, Richard
Atkyns, Sir Edward
Bacon, Sir Nathaniel
Bagford, John
Baker, Sir Richard
Barbeyrac, Jean
Bently, Richard
Blackstone, William
Bourchier, Thomas
Bowyer, William
Bracton, Henry de
Bridgeman, Sir Orlando
Brooke, Sir Robert
Bryant, Jacob
Bunyan, John
Bynkershoek, Cornelis van
Byrd, William
Cavendish, William, 1st Earl of Devonshire
Caxton, William
Cecil, William, 1st Baron Burghley
Charles the Bold
Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Coke, Sir Edward
Collins, Benjamin
Corsellis, Frederick
Coster, Laurens Janszoon
Cowper, William, 1st Earl Cowper
Croke, Sir George
Dodderidge, John
Domitianus, Titus Flavius
Dunning, John
Dupin, Louis Ellies
Edward 'the Confessor'
Edward IV
Eyre, Sir James
Faulkner, George
Fenton, Elijah
Fortescue, Sir John
Fust, Johannes
Gadbury, John
George III
Gould, Henry
Grotius, Hugo
Growte, John
Guericke, Otto von
Gutenberg, Johannes
Gwyn, Francis
Hale, Sir Matthew
Hammond, Henry
Harcourt, Simon, 1st Viscount
Harrison, John
Henley, Robert, 1st Earl of Northington
Henry VI
Henry VIII
Holt, Sir John
Howell, James
Hyde, Edward, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Jekyll, Joseph
Jenson, Nicolas
Johannes of Speyer
Johnson, Samuel
Jonsson, Arngrim
Junius, Hadrianus
Justinian I
King, Sir Peter
Large, Robert
Leland, John
Lilly, John
Maittaire, Michael
Mansfield, William Murray, 1st Earl
Martial, Marcus Valerius Martialis
Mary I
Meidenbach, Johann
Melmoth, William, 'the Younger'
Mentelin, Johannes
Middleton, Conyers
Millar, Andrew
Milton, John
Morley, Thomas
Murphy, Arthur
Mylling, Thomas
Nares, John
Nelson, Robert
Newton, Thomas
Palmer, Samuel
Parker, Matthew
Parker, Thomas
Pemberton, Sir Francis
Perrott, George
Pliny, 'the Younger'
Pope, Alexander
Powell, Sir John
Pufendorf, Samuel, Freiherr von
Ratdolt, Erhard
Rolle, Henry
Roper, Abel
Salkeld, William
Saxton, Christopher
Schöffer, Peter
Sextus Pomponius
Seymour, Sir Edward
Shebbeare, John
Specklin, Daniel
Stirling, John
Stow, John
Streater, John
Swift, Jonathan
Symcocke, Thomas
Talbot, Charles, 1st Baron Talbot
Tallis, Thomas
Taylor, Robert
Thomson, James
Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron
Tonson, Jacob
Tournour, Robert
Trussell, John
Wharton, Henry
Whitgift, John
Willes, Edward
William I, 'the Conqueror'
Wood, Anthony
Yates, Joseph
Yorke, Charles
Yorke, Philip, 1st Earl of Hardwicke
Zell, Ulrich

Places referred to:
St Albans
St Martin Ludgate
St Mary le Bow

Cases referred to:
Basket v. University of Cambridge (1758) 2 Keny. 397, 1 Black W. 105, 2 Burr. 661
Duke of Queensbury v. Shebbeare (1758) 2 Eden 329
Eyre v. Walker (1735) NA, c.11 1520/29
Forrester v. Walker (1741) NA, c.11 867/54
Midwinter v. Hamilton (1743-1748)
Millar v. Donaldson (1765)
Millar v. Kincaid (1751) The Case of the Appellants, 8 February 1751, British Library, 18t ...
Millar v. Kincaid (1751) The Case of the Respondents, 11 February 1751, British Library, 1 ...
Motte v. Faulkner (1735) NA, c.11 2249/4
Ponder v. Bradyll (1679), 13 Car. 2. Lill. Entr. 67
Pope v. Curl (1741) 2 Atk. 342
Roper v. Streater (1672) Bac. Abr. 6th ed., Vol.IV, 209
Stationers' Company v. Partridge (1709) 11 Ann. (King's Bench)
Stationers' Company v. Seymour (1677) 1 Mod. 256
Stationers' Company v. Wright (1681)
The Stationers v. The Patentees about the printing of Rolle's Abridgment (1666) Cart. 89
Tonson v. Collins (1762) 1 Black W 321, 1 Black W 329
Tonson v. Walker (1739) NA, c.33 1753/208
Tonson v. Walker (1752) NA, c.11 1106/18, 3 Swans 672
Walthoe v. Walker (1736) NA, c.11 1534/62
Webb v. Rose (1732) NA, c.11 1534/62, 1881/156

Institutions referred to:
Court of Chancery
Court of Exchequer, England
Court of King's Bench
House of Commons
House of Lords
Old Bailey
See of Canterbury
Star Chamber
Stationers' Company
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
Westminster Hall

Henrician Proclamation 1538
Licensing Act, 1662, 13 & 14 Car.II, c.33
Star Chamber Decree 1566
Star Chamber Decree 1586
Star Chamber Decree 1637
Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Anne, c.19
Statute of Monopolies, 1624, 21 Jac.I, c.3

common law copyright
editions, new
moral rights, divulgation (first publication)
natural rights
perpetual protection
printing, history of
property theory
property theory, authors' property
public domain

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

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