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Sunday, 20 July 2014


The Statute of Anne, the first fully-fledged law regulating copyright, entered into force in Great Britain on April 10, 1710. Consisting of 11 sections, the Statute of Anne is formally titled "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of Copies, during the Times therein mentioned."

The Statute of Anne
The United States enacted its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790 on May 31, 1790. It protected books, maps, and other original material.

Unscrupulous publisher Stellovsky contract with Fyodor Dostoyevsky stated that he would obtain copyrights to all of the Russian author's past work if he did not produce a new novel by a certain date.

Thomas Edison's one-and-a-half second film, The Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, which showed comedian Fred Ott sneezing was the first film to be registered for a copyright.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was established in New York City in 1914 to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

A map making company in the 1930s placed a made up an hamlet (village) in their maps as a copyright trap. Years later the village started showing up on Rand McNally maps. The originator of the map sued for copyright infringement, but in fact locals and government had adopted and used the name.

Rudolph is copyrighted - Chuck Berry had to pay up when he wrote a rock song about the famous reindeer ("Run Rudolph Run").

In 1984 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that using a home video recorder to tape movies and television shows for non-commercial purposes did not violate federal copyright law.

The Guinness Book of Records is the world's most sold copyrighted book, earning it an entry within its own pages.

Georgia State Law is copyrighted. You can be sued for publishing it.

Texts more than 70 years old, and thus out of copyright, can be downloaded for free on a E-Reader from Project Gutenberg.

The only 15 letter words that can be spelled without repeating a letter are 'uncopyrightable' and  'dermatoglyphics' (study of fingerprints). 

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