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29 Wayne L. Rev. 1119 (1982-1983)
The Historic Foundation of American Copyright Law: Exploding the Myth of Common Law Copyright

handle is hein.journals/waynlr29 and id is 1139 raw text is: WAYNE LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 29                SPRING 1983                NUMBER 3
THE HISTORIC FOUNDATION OF
AMERICAN COPYRIGHT LAW:
EXPLODING THE MYTH OF
COMMON LAW COPYRIGHT
HOWARD B. ABRAMSt
CONTENTS
I. THE AMERICAN COPYRIGHT SYSTEM: THE
BASIC  VALUES .................................... 1120
II. THE HISTORICAL FOUNDATION ..................... 1129
A. Common Law Copyright: Did it Exist? .......... 1129
B.  The English Background ....................... 1134
1. The Beginnings of Copyright ................ 1134
2.  The Statute of Anne ....................... 1138
3.  The Early  Cases ........................... 1142
a. Common Law Copyright Claims ......... 1142
b. Unpublished Manuscripts ............... 1146
c.  The Royal Patents ..................... 1147
4.  M illarv. Taylor ........................... 1152
5. The Great Question of Literary Property:
Donaldson v. Becket ....................... 1156
III. COPYRIGHT IN AMERICA: THE EARLY HISTORY ...... 1171
A. The Pre-Constitutional Era ..................... 1171
1. The Colonial Experience..................1171
2. The Articles of Confederation ............... 1172
B.   The Constitutional Clause ...................... 1174
C.  Wheaton v. Peters  ............................ 1178
IV. THE LEGACY OF WHEATON V. PETERS ................ 1185
t Copyright @ 1983 Howard B. Abrams. Associate Professor of Law,
University of Detroit School of Law. B.A. 1963, University of Michigan; J.D. 1966,
University of Chicago.
The author would like to extend his special thanks to Ms. Mary Hayes of the
University of Detroit School of Law Library for her invaluable assistance in locating
hard to find materials and documents throughout the country.
1119

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