Donaldson v Beckett: HL 22 Feb 1774

Copyright Must Be Limited in Time

The booksellers’ statutory copyright rights had expired. They requested the court to recognise a continuing right akin to copyright under common law.
Held: Following Hinton -v- Donaldson, the Lords dissolved an injunction against Alexander Donaldson, thereby laying down the law that copyright in published works was not perpetual, but was limited to the term provided by statute.

(1774) 17 Parl Hist Eng 953, 2 Brown’s Parl. Cases 129
Statute of Anne 1710
England and Wales
FollowedHinton v Donaldson SCS 1-Jul-1773
The House held that copyright did not exist in the law of Scotland except as provided for by the statute of 8 Anne. . .

Cited by:
CitedPrince Albert v Strange ChD 8-Feb-1849
The Prince sought to restrain publication of otherwise unpublished private etchings and lists of works by Queen Victoria. The etchings appeared to have been removed surreptitiously from or by one Brown. A personal confidence was claimed.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.184249