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Copyright Protection of Unpublished Works in the Common Law World

By: Patrick Masiyakurima
Media of Copyright Protection of Unpublished Works in the Common Law World
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Published: 05-03-2020
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 240
ISBN: 9781509916962
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £65.00
Online price : £58.50
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About Copyright Protection of Unpublished Works in the Common Law World

This book discusses copyright protection of unpublished works including letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, memoranda, sketches, private journals, government records and drafts intended for future publication. Under contemporary British copyright law, unpublished works are protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. In addition, the Berne Convention anticipates that unpublished works shall receive protection. While unpublished works are, in general, assimilated to the treatment of published ones, notable differences in the strength of protection afforded to published and unpublished works remain. It is the case that contemporary British copyright law confers stronger and longer protection on unpublished works. For instance, the unpublished status of a work assumes pivotal significance in the framework for determining: qualification for copyright protection, the extent of copyright protection, exceptions to copyright infringement and the remedies for copyright infringement.

The principal aim of the book is to consider whether copyright in unpublished works is justified; a task which is prosecuted from historical, normative and legal perspectives. Although the book's primary focus is the treatment of unpublished works in Britain, it also relies extensively on materials from other Common Law jurisdictions. The book contributes to the understanding of why cumulative protection of unpublished works emerged, and how exceptions to rights in unpublished works evolved. Moreover, the analysis deployed in the book aids the task of applying the law to 'new circumstances'.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
The Meaning of 'Publication'
A Working Definition of Publication
Argument and Structure
2. A History of the Jurisdictional Bases for Restraining Unauthorised First Publication
The Rights of Authors of Unpublished Manuscripts Prior to the Enactment of the Statute of Anne
The Evolution of 'Property' as a Ground for Restraining Unauthorised First Publication
'Breach of Confidence' and 'Breach of Implied Contract' as Additional Jurisdictional Grounds for Restraining Unauthorised First Publication of Manuscripts
Common Law Rights in Unpublished Manuscripts
The Emergence of Breach of Confidence as an Alternative Basis for Preventing Unauthorised First Publication
The Emergence of Implied Contract as a Further Basis for Protecting Unpublished Works
Prince Albert v Strange and the Recognition of the Trio of Jurisdictional Bases for Restraining Unauthorised First Publication
Further Developments
3. The Abrogation of Common Law Protection of Unpublished Works and its Consequences
Domestic Pressures for Reform
Further Issues
International Pressures for Reform
Abrogation and its Consequences
4. The Significance of 'Publication' in Contemporary Copyright Law
Qualification for Copyright Protection
The Extent of Copyright Protection
The Term of Copyright Protection
The Availability and Strength of Copyright Exceptions
The Remedies for Copyright Infringement
5. Justifications for Protection of Unpublished Works
Expressive Autonomy
6. Persistent Problems
Copyright Exceptions
Fair Use
Purposive Interpretation
The Term of Copyright in Old Unpublished Works
7. Taking Stock


“[T]his is an extremely well-researched and argued book, and is a model of legal writing, being always both clearly written and rigorous in its approach ... The book is warmly recommended.” –  Charles Oppenheim, European Intellectual Property Review

“The book makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship in presenting a balanced analysis of varied interests of authors that are engaged in unpublished works, including privacy and confidentiality. It makes powerful arguments to prevent a colourable use of copyright to protect unpublished works without appropriate justification, and to balance the interests of the authors beyond copyright and those of the public.” –  Poorna Mysoor, University of Oxford, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

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