Judiciary Committee Report, Washington D.C. (1830)

Source: National Archives HR21A-D13.4: House Committee on the Judiciary, 21st Cong., 2d sess., 1830, H.Rep. 3.

Judiciary Committee Report, Washington D.C. (1830), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

Back | Record | Images | No Commentaries
Record-ID: us_1830

Permanent link:

Full title:
respecting copy-rights

Full title original language:

A report written by William Ellsworth and submitted by the Judiciary Committee to Congress. The report proposed various amendments to the Copyright Act including extension of copyright term and explicit recognition of copyright in printed music. The report presented both a utilitarian and a natural rights justification of copyright and advocated harmonization with what it presented as the copyright law of various European nations. The report resulted in the 1831 Copyright Act.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.

  • Webster, Noah. 'Origin of the Copy-right Laws of the United States.' In A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary and Moral Subjects. New York: Webster & Clark, 1843.

  • Unger, H.G. Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

  • Micklethwait, David. Noah Webster and the American Dictionary, Jefferson N.C.: McFarland, 2000.

Related documents in this database:
1826: Minutes of the 1825-1826 Commission
1826: Letter from Daniel Webster to Noah Webster
1828: H.R. 140 Committee Bill
1828: H.R. 140 Consolidated Bill
1831: Copyright Act
1831: House Debate

Author: William Ellsworth

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1830

Location: Washington D.C.

Language: English

Source: National Archives HR21A-D13.4: House Committee on the Judiciary, 21st Cong., 2d sess., 1830, H.Rep. 3.

Persons referred to:
Charles X
Ellsworth, William W.

Places referred to:
Great Britain

Cases referred to:
Millar v. Taylor (1769) 4 Burr. 2303

Institutions referred to:
Court of King's Bench
Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate
U.S. Congress

Copyright Act, 1814, 54 Geo.III, c.156
French Imperial decree on the book trade 1810
Prussian Statute Book 1794 (ALR)
Russian Council of State decree (1830), on the duration of copyright
Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Ann. c. 19
U.S. Constitutional Copyright Clause 1789
U.S. Copyright Act 1790, 1 Stat. 124 (1790)
U.S. Copyright Act 1802 (Amendment of 1790 Act), 2 Stat. 171 (1802)

common law copyright
duration, post mortem term
labour theory
learning, the advancement of
music, protected subject matter
natural rights
property theory, authors' property
scholarly writing

Responsible editor: Oren Bracha

Copyright History resource developed in partnership with:

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (

With the exception of commentaries that are available under a CC-BY licence (compliant with UKRI policy) you may not publish individual documents or parts of the database for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is co-published by Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK and CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, 10 The Square, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK