Thursday 2 July 2015

Charles Dickens and copyright reform: a direct descendant writes ...

The latest issue of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society's ALCS News features an entertaining article by Lucinda Hawksley, "Charles Dickens, Copyright Pioneer", which you can read and enjoy here.  Lucinda is not only an author in her own right: she may have a genetic predisposition to write, being the great great great-grand-daughter of Charles Dickens himself. The article looks particularly at Dickens' battle for recognition of the rights of foreign authors in the then-unsympathetic United States.

This blogger notes that Charles Dickens' interest in intellectual property was not confined to copyright reform.  He was also concerned at the cost and inconvenience of obtaining a patent, as evidenced in his "Poor Man's Tale of a Patent" (here) and in his blistering attack on the inefficiency of the civil services, as epitomised by the Circumlocution Office, a lightly disguised version of the Patent Office from which Daniel Doyce struggled in vain to secure protection for his invention in Little Dorrit.

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