Page images
PDF
EPUB

· Parliamentary Proceedings...

63

was not drawn up on reading the award, and Estates, and to charge the Inheritance therefore that the award was not before the with the Monies expended in such ImCourt.

provements......................Mr. Lynch. Petersdorff saint that he had noticell the

e To repeal the Septennial Act, 1 G. 1, c. manner in which the rule had been drawn up,

up 38.

...Mr. Wm. Williams. and han mentioned the matier to the Court, I but the officer had stated that the rule was in

Mr. D’Eyncourt. the usual form.

To regulate and restrain the Power of The Court discharged the rule..

Judges to commit for Contempt. Rule discharged. Barton v. Ransom, E.T.

Mr. Charlton. 1837. Excheq.

FOR SECOND READING,
To declare and amend the Law relating to

the Custody of Children of tender age,

and to regulate the operation of the Writ PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS. of Habeas applicable thereto.

Mr. Serjeant Talfourd.

To amend the Law of Controverted ElecHouse of Lards.

tions, ........ ........... Mr. C. Buller.

To amend the Law of Patents.
BILLS FOE SECOND READING.

Mr. Mackinnon. To establish Local Courts.

To amend the Law as to Offences against Education and Charities.

the Person ...........Mr. A. Trevor.

LordBrougham For regulating the Expenses at
Pluralities Prevention.
Residence of Clergy.

Mr. Hume. To amend the Limitation of Real Actions To consolidate and amend the Law relating Act................ .............. Lord Abinger. to Bribery at Elections. Mr. Hardy. Recorders’ Courts.

Repealing Usury Law on Bills of Exchange.

Freemens' Admission Bill.
IN COMMITTEE.

Final Register of Electors.
Commissions for taking Irish and Scotch

IN COMMITTEE. Affidavits............... The Lord Chancellor. To amend the Law of Wills. Liunicipal Corporations.

The Attorney General. For amending the several Acts for the

Regulation of Attorneys and Solicitors. House of Commons.

Mr. Tooke. BILLS TO BE BROUGHT IN.

For the better regulation of the Offices of

Sheriff, Undersheriff, Deputy Sheriff, and To establish Local Courts...Mr. Roebuck. Bailiff..........................Mr Tooke. To abolish Grand Juries ......... Mr. Prime. Sheriffs' Courts-To extend the 3 & 4 W. To consolidate and amend the Laws relating 4, c. 42, “ for the further Amendment of to Copyright, in Books, Musical Compo- the Law, and better Administration of sitions, Acted Dramas, Pictures aud En- Justice.".................. Captain Pechell. gravings, to provide remedies for the vio- For the better Registration of Voters. lation thereof, and extend the Term of

The Attorney General. its duration ...... Mr. Serjeant Talfourd. Prisons Regulations.........Mr. Fox Maule. To extend the suffrage of Householders. For facilitating the Recovery of the Posses

Mr. Hume. sion of Tenements after the determinaTo amend the Marriage Act.

tion of the Tenancy ...... Mr. Aglionby.

Mr. Wilks. For restraining and regulating the holding Parish Vestries – To abolish Plural Voting. I of Benefices in Plurality, and amending

Mr. Wakley. the Laws relating to the Residence of the To amend the Law relating to the Property Clergy.

Lord John Russell. Qualification of Members.

Offences punishable by Transportation

Mr. Warburton. for Life. To alter and amend the Law relating Abolishing the punishment of death in to Mortgages on Ships and Vessels. I cases of forgery.

Mr. G. F. Young. Offences against the person.
To amend the Law of Costs and the Gene- Robbery and stealing from the person.

ral Issue ................. Sir F. Pollock. Burglary and stealing in a Dwelling To enable Tenants for Life of Estates in House.

Ireland to make Improvements in their Crime of Piracy.

[ocr errors]

64

Notes of the Week.-Sittings.- Editor's Letter Box.

Burning or destroying Buildings and

The Lord Chief Baron. Ships.

Saturday - 27 Causes. Abolishing the punishment of Death in

. Mr. Baron Alderson. certain cases.

Tuesday. . 30 Petitions and Motions. Abolishing the punishment of the Pillory. Thursday, June | Further Directions, &c. For extending the provisions of the Uni

The Lord Chief Buron. formity of Process Act. Mr. Elphinstone.

Friday - - 2 Causes. To regulate the Keeping of the Public Re

| Tuesday. - 6 Petitions and Motions. cords, .................... Mr. C. Buler. Friday - - 9 Further Directions, &c. To allow certain expences on Coroners In

Mr. Baron Alderson will sit in Gray's Inn The Solicitor General. Hall after Teri. quests. To explain the Marriage, and Registration Acts ...

....Lord John Russell. Highway Rates.

THE EDITOR'S LETTER BOX. CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS. To amend the Law of Debtor and Creditor, According to the wish of some of our and abolish Imprisonment for Debt. subscribers in the country, we are making ar.

The Attorney General. rangements for stamping a country edition of To abolish useless Offices in the Common the Legal Observer, to be sent by the post on Law Courts, and Consolidate the Offices. s.

inces. Saturday evenings. This will be a inere change Mr. Serjeant Goulburn.

in the mode of transmission of part of the imPASSED.

pression, for the accommodation of such as Shire-halls.

desire it. The Work itself will undergo no Concealment of Births.

change, but be published in London in the NOTES OF THE WEEK.

same form, and sent by the booksellers as

usual, to those who do not wish to receive it ATTENDANCE AT THE LAW OFFICES.

| by the post. The alteration will be com. The intended new rule for altering the hours

menced as early as possible, and subscribers of attendunce at the Law Offices, which we will please tu give directions accordingly. mentioned some tiine ago, will be made, we understand, this Term. A deputation from E. E. W. may, we think, obtain his articles, the Incorporated Law Society lately attended so as to save the stamp duty ; but it is clear

that he inust enter into further articles to one of the Senior Judges on the subject of the

make up for the time he has omitted to attend. proposed rule, its convenience to practitioners, | There inust be a service under articles for and its effect in regard to some matters of five years. practice. We are informed that there is no The Queries of Z.; T. W.; and H. S., have difficulty in the way of the arrangement, and

been received.

The extra price of the Monthly Part, menthat the rule will soon be promulgated.

tioned by a Subscriber, occurs when there are

five numbers in the month ; but the amount he TRINITY TERM EXAMINATION.

mentions must include the Quarterly Digest

of Cases. The examination will commence on Mon-1°

von E. S. may rely that in the exclusion of any day, the 5th June, at 10 o'clock precisely. letters from our pages, we are uninfluenced by The testimonials of due service are to be left any pecuniary consideration, affecting this on or before Monday the 29th instant, at journal; but it may happen that the insertion

of a letter, whilst it may somewhat annoy one the Law Society.

class of our readers, will do no good to the

other, who desire the discussion. If he will Erchequer Equity Sittings. send a copy of the letter referred to, we will Trinity Term, 1837.

consider the subject.

The letter of “A Common Law Clerk”

will appear soon. Mr. Baron Alderson.

We have seen at the Law Institution the Tuesday, May 23 Petitions and Motions. I printed paper described as “a Case on the 43d

c. Further Directions Elizabeth, for the relief of the poor," with

and Exceptions to Re-l" the opinion of Mr. Serjeant Snigge.” and Wednesday . 24{ ports; Pleas, Demur hearing the name of “Gawdy, Attorney.”

rers, and Exceptions to We shall notice the controversy on the authen. LAnswers.

ticity of this document in an early number.

The Legal Observer.

SUPPLEMENT
FOR MAY, 1837.

"Quod magis ad nos
Pertinet, et nescire malum est, agitamus."

HORAT.

AMENDMENT OF THE LAW OF the right of property in that which the mind COPYRIGHT.

itself creates, and which, so far from exhausting the materials common to all men,

or limiting their resources, enriches and exMr. Serjeant Talfound on the 18th inst.

pands them-a right of property which, by introduced tu the House of Commons his

the happy peculiarity of its nature, can only proposed Amendment of the Law of Copy

be enjoyed by the proprietor in proportion right. His speech is well deserving of las it blesses mankind -- should be exempted attention, on account of its clear and able from the notertion which is extended

of its clear and able from the protection which is extended to exposition of the defective state of the Law, I the,

Law; the ancient appropriation of the soil, and -the remedies which he recommended, and

the rewards of commercial enterprise.” the eloquence with which he enforced every

nforced every After these and some other introductory topic of his “high argument. The main remarks. the honorable Member gave a conproposition for the extension of the term,

cise and accurate history of the law, and the was received by the House with general and

alterations which had been made in it, from marked approbation. The principle of the

the first legislative enactment to the present measure seems to be firmly established, as

time ;-dwelling with much force of exwell by the unanswerable arguments and

pression on all the main points of the subbrilliant eloquence of the Honorable Gentle

ject, on the common law right of " each man, as by the common and unanimous

man to his copy,”-on the unchanged state assent and warm support of both sides of the

of the equitable and legal remedies afforded House. It was indeed refreshing to witness

to authors, (notwithstanding the statute of a short pause in the conflict of party,-won Anne) till 1774:- the restoration of the p by the intellectual importance of the subject,

petuity in the university copyrights ;-the and by the taste and genius and judgment

want of uniformity in the law, &c. &c. with which it was advocated. The learned

| The learned Serjeant then proceeded to Serjeant observed that it was indeed time

state his remedies. that literature should experience some of the blessings of legislation ; for hitherto,

I propose (he said) to render the law of copy

right uniform; as to all books and works of art, with the exception of the boon conferred on

to secure to the proprietor the same term in the acted drama by the bill of the member

each; to give one plan of registration, and one for Lincoln, it had received scarcely anything mode of transfer. As the Stationers' Company but evil. “If,” said he, “ we should now have long enjoyed the control over the regissimply repeal all the statutes which have tration of books, I do not propose to take it been passed under the guise of encouraging

from them, if they are willing to retain it with learning, and leave it to be protected only

the increased trouble, compensated by the in

creased fees which their officer will be entitled by the principles of the common law, and

to receive. I propose that, before any proceedthe remedies which the common law could

ing can be adopted for the violation of copysupply, I believe the relief would be wel. right, the author, or his assignee, shall deposit come. It did not seem to our ancestors a copy of the work, whether book or engraving, that the right of deriving solid benefits from with the officer of the company, and cause an that which springs solely from within us entry to be made, in the form to be given in

VOL. XIV.- NO. 400.

66

Amendment of the Law of Copyright.

the act, of the proprietorship of the work-- | will at least enable hiin, while providing for whether absolute or limited-and that a copy the instruction and the delight of distant aces. of such entry, signed by the officer, shall be to contemplate that he shall leave in his works admitted in all courts as prima fucie evidence themselves some legacy to those for whom a of the property. I propose that any transfer nearer, if not a higher duty, requires him to should be registered in like manner, in a form provide, and which shall make®“ death less also to be given by the act, and that such | terrible.” transfer shall be evidence, by a similar copy.

At present, great uncertainty prevails as to the. In support of the main proposition of the original right of property in papers supplied to Bill-the extension of the duration of the periodical works, or written at the instance of term, the honorable Member made the folà bookseller, and as to the right of engraving lowing brilliant and powerful appeal to the from original pictures. However desirable it feelings of the House ; and he appears to

y be that these questions should be settled, have succeeded in making a deep impression, it is impossible to interfere with the existing

ting and to have carried the sense of the House relations of booksellers and authors, or of patrons of art and artists. Neither, for the future. / entirely with him. do I propose to lay down any rule as to the rights When the opponents of literary property which shall originally be expressed or implied speak of glory as the reward of genius, they between the parties themselves; but that the make an ungenerous use of the very nobleness right of copy shall be registered as to books, of its impulses, and show how little they have pictures, or engravings, only with the consent profited by its high example. When Milton, of both, expressed in writing ; and, when this is in poverty and in blindness, fed the flame of done, shall be absolute in the party registered his divine enthusiasm by the assurance of a as owner. At present, an engraver or publisher, duration coequal with his language, I believe who has given a large sum for permission to with Lord Camden that no thought crossed engrave a picture, and expended his money or him of the wealth which might be amassed by labour in the plate, may be met by unexpected the sale of his poem ; but surely some shadow competition, for which he has no remedy. By would have been cast upon “the clear dream making the registration not the condition of and solemn vision” of his future glories, had the right itself, but of the remedy by action or he foreseen that, while booksellers were otherwise, the independence of contracting striving to rival each other in the magniparties will be preserved, and this evil avoided ficence of their editions, or their adaptatica for the future. "A competent tribunal will still to the convenience of various classes of his be wanting ; its establishment is beyond the admirers, his only surviving descendant-a scope of my intention or my power; but I feel woman-should be rescued from abject want that complete justice will not be done to litera-only hy the charity of Garrick, who, at the soture and art until a mode shall be devised for licitation of Dr. Johnson, gave her a benefit at a cheap and summary vindication of their in- the theatre (which had appropriated to itself juries before some parties better qualified to all that could be represented of Comus. The determine it than our judges and juries. liberality of genius is surely ill-urged for our

But the main object of the bill which I contem- ungrateful denial of its rights. The late Mr. plate is, (I will not use those words of ill omen, Coleridge gave an example, not merely of its fi the further advancement of learning”-but) | liberality, but of its profuseness ; while he for additional justice to learning, by the further sought not even to appropriate to his fame the extension of time during which authors shall vast intellectual treasures which he had derived enjoy the direct pecuniary benefit immediately from boundless research, and coloured by a flowing from the sale of their own works. glorious imagination; wbile he scattered Although I see no reason why authors should abroad the seeds of beauty and of wisdom to not be restored to that inheritance which, un- take root in congenial minds, and was content der the name of protection and encourage- to witness their fruits in the productions of ment, has been taken from them, I feel that the those who heard him. But ought we, there. subject has so long been treated as matter of fore, the less to deplore, now when the music compromise between those who deny that the of his divine philosophy is for ever hushed, that creacions of the inventive faculty, or the achieve- the earlier portion of those works on which he ments of reason, are the subjects of property at stamped his own impress—which he sought all, and those who think the property should from the world that they should recognize last as long as the works which contain truth as his -are published for the gain of others and beauty live, that I propose still to treat it than his children-that his death is illustrated on the principle of compromise, and to rest | by the forfeiture of their birthright? What satisfied with a fairer adjustment of the dif justice is there in this ? Do we reward our ference than the last act of Parliment affords. heroes so ? Did we tell our Marlboroughs; I shall propose-subject to modification when our Nelsons, our Wellingtons, that glory was the details of the measure shall be discussed their reward, that they fought for posterity, that the term of property in all works of learn- and that posterity would pay them? We ing, genius, and art, to be produced hereafter, leave them to no such cold and uncertain re. or in which the Stationers' copyright now sub. quital; we do not even leave them merely to sists, shall be extended to 60 years, to be com-| enjoy the spoils of their victories which we puted from the death of the author, which deny to the author-we concentrate a nation's

Amendinent af the Law of Copyright.

67

honest feeling of gratitude and pride into the nature would turn her last calamity into the form of an endowment, and teach other ages means of provision for survivors. At the mowhat we thought, and what they ought to ment when his name is invested with the solemn think, of their deeds, by the substantial memo. | interest of the grave-when his eccentricities rials of our praise. Were our Shakspeare and or frailties excite a smile or a shrug no longer Milton less the ornaments of their country,- -when the last seal is set upon his earthly less the benefactors of mankind? Would the course, and his works assume their place among example be less inspiring if we permitted them the classics of his country, your law says his to enjoy the spoils of their peaceful victories ? works shall become your property, and you If we allowed to their descendants—not the will requite him by seizing the patrimony of tax assessed by present gratitude and charged his children. We blame the errors and excesses on the future, but if we perinitted the future of genius, aud we leave them- justly leave freely to pay its own contributions—to sanction them for the most part to the consequences a reward which must be restricted to the actual of their strangely blended nature ; but if genius, good, and which will only be paid by those in assertion of its divine alliances, produces who share and are concious of the blessing? large returns when the course of its frail pos

But I do not press these considerations to sessor is spent, why is the public to insult his the full extent. The past is beyond our power; descendants with their alms and their pity? and I only ask for the present a brief reversion What right have we to moralize over the ex. in the future. Riches, fineless, are already cesses of a Burns, and insult his memory hv ours. It is in truth the greatness of the bles- charitable honours, while we are taking the sings which the world inherits from genius benefit of his premature death, in the expiration that dazzels the mind on this question, and of his copyright and the cheapness of his works? the habit of repaying its bounty by words, that Or-to advert to a case in which the highest confuses us and indisposes us to justice. It is intellectual powers were associated with the because the spoils of time are irrevocably ours; noblest moral excellence-what right have we because the forms of antique beauty wear for us to take credit to ourselves for a paltry and the bloom of an imperishable youth; because ineffectual subscription, to rescue Abbotsford the elder literature of our own country is a for the family of its great author, while we insist free mine of wealth to the bookseller, and of on appropriating now the profits of his earlier delight to ourselves, that we are unable to un-powers, and anticipate the time when, in a few derstand the claim of our contemporaries to a years, bis novels will be ours without rentcharge beneficial interest in their works; because to enjoy, and any one's to copy, to emasculate, genius of necessity communicates so much, we and to garble? This is the case of one whom cannot conceive it as retaining anything for its Kings and people delighted to honour; but look possessor. There is a sense, indeed, in which on another picture-that of a man of genius the poets “ on earth have made us heirs of truth and integrity, who has received all the insult a pure delight in heavenly lays ;” and it is be- and injury from his contemporaries, and cause of this very boon-because their thoughts obtains nothing from posterity but a name. become our thoughts, and their phrases un- Look at Daniel De Foe; recollect him pillo. consciously enrich our daily language-be- ried, bankrupt, wearing away his life to pay his cause their works, harmonious in themselves, creditors in full, and dying in the strugglesuggest to us the rules of composition by which and his works live, imitated, corrupted, yet their imitators should be guided-because to casting off the stains-not by protection of law, them we can resort, and “ in our golden urns but by their own pure essence. Had every draw light,” that we cannot fancy them apart school-boy whose young imagination has been from ourselves, or admit that they have any prompted by his great work, and whose heart property except in our praise. And our grati. has learned to beat in the strange yet familiar tude is shown not only in leaving their descen- solitude he created, given even the halfpenny dants without portion in the benefits derived of the statute of Anne, there would have been from their works, but in leaving even their no want of a provision for his children, no need fame to be frittered away in abridgments, and of a subscription for a statue to his memory. polluted by base intermixtures, and denying The term allowed by the existing law is cuto their descendants even the cold privilege of riously adapted to encourage the lightest works, watching over and protecting it.

and to leave the noblest unprotected. Its There is something, besides, peculiarly little span is ample for authors who seek only unjust in bounding the term of an author's to amuse ; who, “to beguile the time, look property by that of his natural life. It like the time ;” who lend to frivolity or corrupdenies to age and experience the probable tion" lighter wings to fly; " who sparkle, blaze, reward it permits to youth-to youth suf- and expire. These may be well—the fireflies ficiently full of hope and joy, to slight its on the heaving sea of public opinion, and transipromises. It gives à bounty to haste, and in-tory : yet surely it is not just to legislate for forms the laborious student who would never those alone, and deny all reward to that liteworry his life to complete some work which rature which aspires to endure. “ the world will not willingly let die,” that the Let us suppose an author, of true original more of his life he devotes to its perfection. I genius, disgusted with the inane phraseology the more limited shall be his interest in its which had usurped the place of poetry, and fruits. It stops the progress of remuneration had devoted himself from youth to its service, at the moment it is most needed, and when disdaining the gauds which attract the care

Lo

« PreviousContinue »