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Copyright History

By l0u1se
  • The Licensing Act of 1662

    The Licensing Act of 1662
    As an attempt to control publications from increasing numbers of presses and printers, England's Crown established a register of licensed books. Administered by the Stationers' Company, they were given power to seize material hostile to the Church or Government. (The Library of Congress, 2010)
  • Statute of Anne

    Statute of Anne
    The British Parliament, under Queen Anne's reign, recognize rights of authors and establishes copyright which prevents monopoly of the bookseller. Known as an act for the encouragement of learning, the Statute of Anne creates "Public Domain" which limits terms of copyright and ensures limited control by the author over its use once a work is purchased. (The Library of Congress, 2010)
  • An Act for the Encouragement of Literature and Genius

    An Act for the Encouragement of Literature and Genius
    Noah Webster, author of American Spelling Book, successfully lobbies Connecticut legislature to pass a copyright statute, the first in the United States. (The Library of Congress, 2010)
  • U.S. Copyright Law

    U.S. Copyright Law
    George Washington signs the first copyright bill into law protecting books, maps, and charts for a term of 14 years. Copyright can be renewed for an additional 14 years.
  • Second revision of Copyright Law

    Second revision of Copyright Law
    President Ulysses S. Grant signs into law provisions that two copies of all copyrighted works be registered and deposited in The Library of Congress thereby a source for assembling the largest repository of works. Materials copyrighted now also include photographs and music.
  • Government Printing Office

    Government Printing Office
    President Grover Cleveland signs the Printing Act. This Act centralizes printing of government documents and prohibits copyrighting of government publications.
  • Copyright Office

    Copyright Office
    Separated from the Library of Congress, the Copyright Office is established. A Register of Copyrights position is created.
  • Third revision of copyright law

    This revision extends copyright terms to 28 years and broadens copyright materials to "all the writings of an author."
  • Third revision

    Third revision
    Broadens subject matter to include all writings of an author. Also extends renewal terms from 14 to 28 years.
  • First of nine acts

    First of nine acts
    Congress enacts nine special acts extending renewal terms on copyrighted works to December 31, 1976. Works that were scheduled to expire between this date and December 31, 1976 were included.
  • Fourth revision

    Fourth revision
    President Ford signs fourth revision of copyright law in 1976 that becomes effective in 1978. Copyright works created on or after this date are now protected for the life of the author plus 50 years after death.
  • Computer Software Act

    Computer Software Act
    Computer program is defined and copyright law amended to clarify protection afforded computer software.
  • Sonny Bono Act

    Sonny Bono Act
    C opyright protection is now extended for most works for the life of the author plus 70 years after author's death.
  • Digital Millennium Act

    Digital Millennium Act
    Desined to implement treaties signed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference, highlights include limiting infringement liabilities for ISPs, an exemption for temporary software reproduction in the course of maintenance or repair.
  • TEACH Act

    TEACH Act
    The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act provides for use of copyrighted works by educational institutions in distance education.