This book discusses copyright protection of unpublished works including letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, memoranda, sketches, private journals, government records and drafts intended for future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 Under contemporary British copyright law, unpublished works are protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. In addition, the Berne Convention anticipates that unpublished works shall receive protection. While unpublished works are, in general, assimilated to the treatment of published ones, notable differences in the strength of protection afforded to published and unpublished works remain. It is the case that contemporary British copyright law confers stronger and longer protection on unpublished works. For instance, the unpublished status of a work assumes pivotal significance in the framework for determining: qualification for copyright protection, the extent of copyright protection,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The principal aim of the book is to consider whether copyright in unpublished works is justified; a task which is prosecuted from historical, normative and legal perspectives. Although the book's primary focus is the treatment of unpublished works in Britain, it also relies extensively on materials from other Common Law jurisdictions. The book contributes to the understanding of why cumulative protection of unpublished works emerged, and how exceptions to rights in unpublished works evolved.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'.