Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)
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 Relaunch 2012

The Spanish section of the archive, and the new database design were re-launched on 25 June 2012, as part of the annual conference of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP)

The original launch of the project at Stationer’s Hall, London in 2008 is documented below:

AHRC Primary Sources on Copyright History Project: Conference
Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th March 2008
Stationers' Hall, London

The first version of the digital archive was launched in 2008 with a two day conference at Stationers' Hall in London.   Keynote Speakers included Professor Mark Rose (University of California Santa Barbara), Professor Laurent Pfister (University of Versailles Saint-Quentin) and Professor Karl-Nikolaus Peifer (Köln University).

An edited volume based on the conference contributions was published with Cambridge based publisher Open Book in 2010: "Privilege and Property, Essays on the History of Copyright" edited by Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently. The book (xii + 438pp) is available in paperback (ÂŁ14.95), hardback (ÂŁ24.95) and pdf (ÂŁ4.95) editions, and also accessible online for free.

Programme: Wednesday 19th March 2008

10:00 – 10:15 Welcome Professor Bill Cornish, Emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Cambridge
10:15 – 10:45Introduction and Demonstration of Resource Professor Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge and Professor Martin Kretschmer, Bournemouth University
10.45 – 11:30 Keynote Speech: The Public Sphere and the Emergence of Copyright: Areopagitica, the Stationers’ Company, and the Statute of Anne Professor Mark Rose, University of California, Santa Barbara
11:30 – 11:45COFFEE
11.45 – 12:30 Keynote Speech: Author and work in the French Print Privileges system Professor Laurent Pfister, University of Paris V
12:30 – 13:00 From the Stationers’ Company Archive Robin Myers, Honorary Archivist Emeritus, Stationers’ Company
14:00 – 15:20 National Editors’ Afternoon (1) Institutions. The Political Economy of Copyright, Dr Oren Bracha, University of Texas (US); From Local to National to International Regimes, Dr Friedemann Kawohl (Germany)
15:20 – 15:40 BREAK FOR TEA/COFFEE
15:40 – 17:30 National Editors’ Afternoon (2) Ideas. Subject Matter, Dr Joanna Kostylo, University of Cambridge (Italy); Originality, Dr Frédéric Rideau, University of Poitiers (France); Derivatives, Dr Ronan Deazley, Birmingham University (UK)

Programme: Thursday 20th March 2008

09:00 – 09:15COFFEE
09:15 – 10:45 Invited Papers: The Significance of Copyright History for Publishing History and Historians, Professor John Feather, Loughborough University; Visualising property in art and law Dr Katie Scott, Courtauld Institute of Art; A mongrel of early modern copyright: Scotland in European perspective, Dr Alastair Mann, Stirling University
10:45 – 11:00 COFFEE
11:00 – 12:30 Invited Papers: Metaphors of Intellectual Property William St Clair, University of Cambridge; Digging up fragments and building IP franchises, Professor Kathy Bowrey, University of New South Wales; Perpetual Copyright: the Venetian Experiment (1780-1789), Dr Maurizio Borghi, Brunel University
12:30– 13:30 BUFFET LUNCH
13:30 – 14:30 Invited Papers: “Neither bolt nor chain, iron safe nor private watchman, can prevent the theft of words”: The birth of the performing right in Britain, Dr Isabella Alexander, University of Cambridge; Les formalités sont mortes, vive les formalités! Copyright formalities in nineteenth century Europe and their significance for current discourse, Stef van Gompel, University of Amsterdam
14:30 –15:15 Keynote Speech: The Return of the Commons - Copyright history as a common source, Professor Karl-Nikolaus Peifer, Köln University
15:15 – 15:45 BREAK FOR TEA/COFFEE
15:45 – 16:30 Open Discussion: A View of Copyright History Introduced by: Professor Lionel Bently and Professor Martin Kretschmer
16:30 – 16.45 Closing Rapporteur Professor Jane Ginsburg, Columbia University
16:45 – 17:00 Launch of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property
17:00 Conference Closes

The Research Group is very grateful to the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers for providing Stationers' Hall gratis and to Emmanuel College, Cambridge for sponsorship towards the cost of the conference. The Research Group is also very grateful to Robin Myers and Sue Hurley for curating a unique exhibition (and catalogue) of materials. In particular, this will feature the Stationers' Charter of 1684 and the original parchment copy of the 1710 Statute of Anne.

Conference photos

Bently & Kretschmer with the Stationers' Charter of 1684

Bently & Ginsburg

Robin Myers & Deazley

Pfister, Rideau & Petri

Mark Rose

Cornish & Peifer

Feather & Deazley

Borghi & Bracha

Isabella Alexander

Rideau, Deazley and Bently

Katie Scott

Joanna Kostylo

Friedemann Kawohl

Stationers' Hall

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) (

You may not publish these documents 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), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK