In July 2016, CREATe, Glasgow will host the Annual Workshop of the International Society of the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP). As attendees of our Copyright History Symposium will know, Scotland was the home of booksellers such as Alexander Donaldson who sought to resist the monopolistic practices of their established London-based rivals, in the so-called Battle of the Booksellers of the eighteenth century. The patriotic Scottish booksellers, newcomers to the trade, sold cheap reprints of books sold by the London booksellers, including those in which statutory copyright, under the Statute of Anne 1710, had expired. The London booksellers responded with a series of lawsuits culminating in Donaldson v. Becket (1774), relying inter alia on copyright at common law, against which the Scots resisted. As Donaldson expressed in petitioning the House of Commons in 1774: ‘your petitioner has had to struggle with the united force of almost all the eminent booksellers of London and Westminster… above one hundred of the most opulent booksellers… have in their turn, been plaintiffs against your petitioner’. The resulting cases and more general debate about the nature of literary property are today remembered as a historic occasion on which the nature of copyright, as well as the more general notion of property in intangibles, was fully debated. Taking the theme of ‘resistance’ as its starting point, we intend the 8th Annual Workshop to be a further occasion for the full debate of the theory and history of intellectual property! The final programme is now available, and can be found here: http://www.ishtip.org/?p=758
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