April 10 - Anniversary of the Statute of Anne

Posted on April 10, 2017

I imagine that, at first glance, you might have misread this and thought I was going to talk about a sculpture (statue) of a woman named Anne. Perhaps Queen Anne of England:

But "statute" is a word for "law." And, even though it has Queen Anne's name on it, this British law has nothing to do with the queen.

Instead, it's one of the world's first copyright laws in which the government, rather than private companies and individuals, regulates the rights to owning the products of one's mind, such as writings, pieces of art, and other "intellectual property."

It was also an important step to safeguarding rights for authors and artists rather than publishers and printers.

On this date in 1710, the Statute of Anne became the law of the land, that land being England, Wales, and Scotland; later, when Ireland (now just Northern Ireland) became part of the country, the copyright law held there, as well. A new copyright law was passed in 1842.

The Statute of Anne influenced other nations' copyright laws, including the law in the U.S.

Check out this website to learn the basics of copyright.

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