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‘Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)’, Glasgow, 16-17 October 2023

Posted on    by Elena Cooper
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‘Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)’, Glasgow, 16-17 October 2023

By 16 October 2023February 28th, 2024No Comments

NEWS +++ Conference proceedings now published as CREATe working paper 2024/02 +++ NEWS

We were delighted to host a copyright history conference in Glasgow on 16 and 17 October 2023: a celebration of fifteen years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), the (AHRC funded) digital archive edited by Lionel Bently and Martin Kretschmer. Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) was launched in 2008, with a conference at Stationers’ Hall, London, and it originally comprised five national sections – Great Britain, France, German speaking countries, France and USA – each curated by a specialist national editor. The stated aim of the project was to make available primary source material that (i) opened up alternative interpretations of copyright history, (ii) illustrated the interaction of copyright with commercial and/or aesthetic developments, and (iii) evidenced influences across jurisdictions. Fifteen years later, the digital archive now spans a total of ten jurisdictions – also, the Netherlands, Spain, Jewish sources, Portugal/Brazil and the Vatican – with a further section, Scandinavia, in progress.

At the hybrid event in October 2023, held in the University of Glasgow’s Advanced Research Centre, we charted the development of the digital archive, launching new material and looking to the future. We are delighted that the event was also supported by the International Society for the Theory and History of Intellectual Property, that was also formed at the 2008 Stationers’ Hall conference.

The full programme for the Glasgow conference is below, but it comprises two key elements. First, a number of national editors presented their new material for the digital archive. Patricia Akester (GPI-IPO) and Victor Drummond (Universidade Gama Filho) launched their section covering Portugal and Brazil, Marius Buning (University of Oslo), Magne Klasson  (University of Oslo) and Martin Fredriksson (Linköping University) spoke about the forthcoming Scandinavian section, and further material for three existing sections – the Vatican, France and German speaking countries – was presented by Jane Ginsburg (Columbia Law School), Katie Scott (The Courtauld), Frédéric Rideau (Université de Poitiers) and Friedemann Kawohl (CREATe Fellow).

Secondly, in the evening of Monday 16th October, we hosted an event that was open to the public, and also formed part of the CREATe Public Lectures series: Lionel Bently and  Martin Kretschmer, accompanied by a panel of national editors, discussed ‘Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900): Changing world views and what comes next’. A record of the public lecture was subsequently published as CREATe Working Paper 2024/02.

French Decree on the duration of privileges 1777 (f_1777a)

Programme:  Celebrating Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Hybrid event, held at the Advanced Research Centre, University of Glasgow.

Monday 16th October

10am – 10.30am: arrival/coffee.

10.30am – 11.30am:  Patricia Akester and Victor Drummond: Launch of Portugal and Brazil: Privileges granted to Gonçalo de Baena and Baltasar Dias (1536-7) and the copyright dispute between Almeida Garrett and Alexandre Herculano (1873-1908).

11.30pm – 12.30pm: Marius Buning, Magne Klasson and Martin Fredriksson: Scandinavia: Privilege granted to Bishop Theodorus Thorlacius to print histories and antiquarian works in Iceland (1688) and Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act (1841).

12.30pm – 1.30pm: lunch

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Closed session: training demonstration of new Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) content management system led by Bartolomeo Meletti, CREATe, showcasing the Scandinavian section, for editors, national editors and limited invited audience only.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Jane Ginsburg: New Vatican material: Privilege granted to Tommaso Pighinucci for publishing Medicina Plinea (1509) and Petition of and Privilege to Orazio Torsellini for his History of the House of Loreto (1598). 

3.30pm – 4pm: coffee break.

4pm – 5pm: Closed session: discussion by national editors and invited attendees only on possible future directions for Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), chaired by Elena Cooper, CREATe.

5.30pm – 7pm: CREATe Public Lecture and reception: Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900): changing world views and what comes next

Welcome by Professor Claire McDiarmid, Head of the School of Law, University of Glasgow

Lionel Bently and Martin Kretschmer, in discussion with a panel of national editors including Patricia Akester, Jose Bellido, Marius Buning, Elena Cooper, Victor Drummond, Joanna Kostylo, Magne Klasson, Jane Ginsburg, Friedemann Kawohl, Frédéric Rideau, Katie Scott and Stef van Gompel.


Tuesday 17th October

9.30am – 10am: arrival/coffee

10am – 11.15am: New material for France: Katie Scott: Francesco Pellegrion ‘The Flower of the Science of Portraiture’ (1530), Charles Le Brun ‘Royal Privilege’ (1656), Petition by the Printmakers and Proprietors of Copperplates to the National Assembly (1791) and Petition by Citizen Plaster-casters to the National Court (1794); and Frédéric Rideau: French Decree on the Duration of Privileges (1777).

11.15am – 11.45am: Friedemann Kawohl: New material for Germany: The Juridical Nature of Authors’ Rights by Carl Gareis (1877) with reference to Johannes Brahms’ diverging concept of authorship, and Fürstenthal v. Hirschfeld (1840).

11.45am-12pm: Amy Thomas: New material for Scotland (UK):  Letter to George Thomson from Robert Burns incorporating a manuscript of Auld Lang Syne (1793).

12.00pm – closing