Thursday, May 28, 2015

225th Anniversary of First U.S. Copyright Law

This Sunday, May 31st, marks the 225th anniversary of the first U.S. copyright law enacted under the new Constitution. The Copyright Act of 1790 is set out here. The first federal law allowed for the registration of copyright in "books, maps and charts" by filing with the U.S. District Court in the district where the author or copyright proprietor resided. Registration lasted for 14 years, and could be renewed for an additional 14 year term.

The following week, the very first copyright registration made under the new law was a book entitled "Philadelphia Spelling Book," registered in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on June 9, 1790.

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