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wards set up a claim to the exclusive publication of it in England. There can be no doubt that the defendant might legally have imported and sold in this country any number of copies printed in France; and upon what principle can it be contended that he might not also reprint the work here? Can it be said, that if some individual in England reprints a work which has been published for half a century in France, the author may, after such an interval, come forward here for the first time and claim the copyright, reprint it here himself, and then maintain an action against the individual who had already reprinted it here? Surely not; and yet to that length the argument on the part of the plaintiffs must go. If the author had the right to an exclusive publication in both countries, the plaintiffs are not his assignees within the meaning of the statute. They are the assiguees of a part of the copyright only; but a copyright cannot be divided into parts; and therefore, upon that ground, this action is not maintainable. But if they are, properly speaking, the assignees of the copyright, still, no right vested in them until the year 1822, before which time the defendant had published the work here. That was a lawful publication, for he might then have imported copies of the French publication, and therefore the subsequent sale was lawful also. The main argument however is, that the author having previously published in France, has dedicated the work to all the world, and cannot now set up a claim to an exclusive publication in England.
The case was argued on a former day, when the Court took time to consider of their judgment, which was now delivered by
BAYLEY, J. who, after stating the facts of the case, proceeded as follows:- The question for the consideration of the Court is, whether, under the circumstances of this case, the plaintiff is entitled to maintain this action. The first point is, whether the publication of the work in the month
of September, 1814, gave any privileges [conferred upon
lege upon British publications only, and that they do not
of Advocates' Library in Edinburgh, on pain of forfeit
1924. ing five pounds for every copy, besides the value of the
CLEMENTL copy to be recovered, &c. and if the penalties are incurred .
WALKER. in Scotland, they shall, by sect. 6., be recovered in the Court of Session; and by s. 7 it is enacted, that nothing in this act shall be construed to extend to prohibit the importation, vending or selling of any books in Greek, Latin, or any other foreign language, printed beyond the seas. Therefore the statute of Anne applies not only to books thereafter to be printed, but extends also to books which have been previously printed, and it would have been a remarkable thing if the legislature had been conferring this exclusive privilege, at that period of time, upon books. which had not been printed in this kingdom, but which had been printed abroad. The legislature inust be presumed to: have British interests and British learning in view when they passed this act. Printing works in this kingdom brings into activity British capital, British workmen, British materials, and it produces a circulation of literary knowledge within the reach of the British public. Upon publications printed abroad, British capital, British workmen, or British, materials are not likely to be employed, and it may be matter of mere chance whether such works when published will ultimately reach the British public or find their way: amongst British readers, and if they do, the advantage will not be so great as if they were published in this kingdom.. And, therefore, unless there were words clearly shewing that the privilege was meant to be extended to works 'printed. abroad, we think, from the nature of the thing, the privilege must be confined to books printed in this country. The. words of the statute of Anne, it is true, speak generally of printing, without saying where printed, but that is an act of the British legislature, and therefore the British legislature. would naturally have it in contemplation to protect British interests; and the provisions not only of that, but of subsequent acts of parliament, clearly shew, that British publications only were in the contemplation of the legislature
at the time when that and the subsequent acts passed. The provision in the 8 Anne that the authors of books, generally, shall have the sole right of printing and reprinting, and that, before the publication, the title of the book shall be entered, and that copies shall be delivered at Stationers' Hall, manifestly contemplate British, and not foreign publications. The statute 12 Geo. 2. c. 36. which prohibits the importation of books reprinted abroad, that have been first composed or written and printed in Great Britain, evidently considers the privilege conferred by the statute of Anne as confined to books printed here. The statute 41 Geo. 3. c. 107. contains provisions similar to those in the 8 Anne and 12 Geo.2. and extends those privileges to works published in Ireland and other places, so as to prevent the pirating of British works in any of the British dominions within Europe not protected before. The 54 Geo. 3. supersedes the necessity of leaving copies at Stationers' Hall at all events, but contains a provision that, upon demand made in writing, at the place of abode of the publisher, within twelve months after the publication thereof, eleven copies shall be delivered at Stationers' Hall, under a penalty of five pounds for each copy not delivered, and the value ; and therefore that act clearly contemplates that the publisher is to be a person who is to have a place of abode in this kingdom, which would not be likely to be the case with a person who prints books abroad. We are, therefore, of opinion, that the privileges mentioned by these several statutes, were manifestly intended to be conferred upon books printed in this kingdom, and not upon books printed abroad. Then if that be the case, it is clear that in the year 1818, when the defendant printed his work, his publication of it was not wrongful, but was warranted by law. It is true that in September, 1814, the work had been published here, but that was not a publication by the author, and therefore he had no privilege conferred upon him, and being published by the plaintiff under a parol license only, he had no rights which were protected by the statutes. Then the question arises whether the subsequent assigoment in January, 1822,