Open University Book History Research Group Seminar: Literature and Copyright
22 May 2017, 17:30 to 22 May 2017, 19:00
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Professor Ian Gadd, Bath Spa University
LITERATURE AND COPYRIGHT
In February 1594, John Danter had his claim to the publishing rights to Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus approved by two of the officers of the London’s Stationers’ Company—and with this, the story of Shakespeare’s copyright begins. This paper explores exactly what rights were being granted to Danter and those who followed him in securing the publishing rights to Shakespeare’s other works, and how those rights fundamentally shaped Shakespeare's subsequent publishing history. By tracing the ownership of these rights from the late
sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries through to the late eighteenth century, the paper will demonstrate how any history of the emergence of modern Anglo-American copyright needs to understand the changing commercial realities of the London book trade as much as the more well-known legislative and legal landmarks.
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