Thursday, 15 December 2011
Charles Dickens' interest in intellectual property is best known with respect to his campaign for adequate copyright protection for authors whose works were not first published in the United States and which could therefore be reproduced and recited there with impunity. Indeed, in Dickens' day, the United States when viewed from the perspective of European authors was not unlike the internet today -- a vast, relatively ungovernable region in which the regular rules of intellectual property either did not apply or could not easily be enforced. One wonders what choice words Dickens would have had for the Google Book project, had he been alive today.
You can access this Dickens' tale, together with this Kat's introduction and annotations, which was originally published as a slender monograph by ESC Publishing Ltd -- another name from the grand past of intellectual property -- here.