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Technological developments have shaped copyright law's development, and now the prospect of endless, effortless digital copying poses a significant challenge to modern copyright law. Many complain that copyright protection has burgeoned wildly, far beyond its original boundaries. Some have questioned whether copyright can survive the digital age. From a historical perspective, however, many of these 'new' challenges are simply fresh presentations of familiar dilemmas. This book explores the history of international copyright law, and looks at how this history is relevant today. It focuses on international copyright during the nineteenth century, as it affected Europe, the British colonies (particularly Canada), America, and the UK. As we consider the reform of modern copyright law, nineteenth-century experiences offer highly relevant empirical evidence. Copyright law has proved itself robust and flexible over several centuries. If directed with vision, Seville argues, it can negotiate cyberspace.
• A comprehensive account of nineteenth-century literary copyright law with important material contained in an accessible in a single volume • Shows relevance of historical material for contemporary law makers, which will enable readers to engage in the modern debate on copyright in the digital age • Sets the legal debates in historical context using primary sources