Millar v Taylor; 20 Apr 1769

References: [1769] EngR 44, (1769) 4 Burr 2303, (1769) 98 ER 201
Links: Commonlii
Yates J said: ‘It is certain every man has a right to keep his own sentiments if he pleases. He has certainly a right to judge whether he will make them public, or commit them only to the sight of his friends. In that state the manuscript is, in every sense, his peculiar property, and no man can take it from him, or make any use of it which he has not authorised, without being guilty of a violation of his property; and, as every author or proprietor of a manuscript has a right to determine whether he will publish it or not, he has a right to the first publication; and whoever deprives him of that priority is guilty of a manifest wrong, and the Court has a right to stop it.’
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Prince Albert -v- Strange ChD ((1849) 1 H & Tw 1, 2 De G & SM 293, (1849) 1 Mac & G 25, Bailii, [1849] EWHC Ch J20, [1849] EngR 255, Commonlii, (1849) 41 ER 1171, [1849] EngR 261, Commonlii, (1849) 47 ER 1302, (1849) 2 De Gex & Sim 652)
    The Prince sought to restrain publication of otherwise unpublished private etchings and lists of works by Queen Victoria.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: . .