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Old 09-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #200
SteveEisenberg
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jozawun View Post
I understood that in the early 1790s legislation was passed expressly protecting the rights of authors.
That's true. They brought it back, albeit with a revolutionary spin. But before that, there was the abolition of privileges, August 4, 1789.

Quote:
As to whether the absence of copyright stops authors from writing, Dickens and the other great 19th century English writers kept churning out classics despite the fact that their works were "pirated" holus bolus throughout the USA, where copyright protection was either non-existent, minimal, or simply not enforced.
There's always been some taking of reading material without paying for it, whether through piracy or shoplifting. Obviously a lot of outstanding books will get created with copyright limited to the creator's country.

Dickens did make a nice income, and only tended to be short of money due to lack of thrift (and willingness to give money to friends and family).

For this purpose, Dickens = J.K. Rowlings. Suppose an American on this board was to say that because Rowlings makes so much money already, they aren't going to pay for her books. If someone said that Rowlings is the only author they will pirate, I wouldn't have a super-strong argument against it. But what I think happens next is that they start thinking all authors on the best-seller list are as rich as Dickens, which is far from true.

Quote:
I don't say any of them liked it; but they kept writing.
I personally don't think keeping on writing, defined as sheer number of words written, should be the criteria . Maybe if Dickens had used a financial cushion from US copyright income to spend 50 percent more time on each book, they would have been, although fewer, even better. And in the case of non-fiction, authors without advances almost surely do less research requiring distant travel.
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