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Today in legal history...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First copyright law was enacted in Great Britain
Kyle Webster at 12:00 AM ET

On April 10, 1710, the Statute of Anne, the world's first known copyright law to protect authors, went into full effect in Great Britain. Prior to the statute, issues pertaining to copyright were handled by private parties, if at all. This was the first time a governmental body shifted the issue to a public concern and permitted the courts to handle challenges by the creators of written works. Since 1710, copyright laws have been enacted around the world in nearly every nation, including efforts to enforce international copyrights, primarily through the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention.

Coat of arms of the United Kingdom

Learn more about copyright law from the JURIST news archive.

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