About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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June 09, 2005

June 9, 1790 - First Book Copyrighted in US - The Philadelphia Spelling Book

Posted by Ernest Miller

Two-hundred and fifteen years ago, the first book to be copyrighted (back then there was a little formality required) was entered at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Spelling Book, Arranged Upon a Plan Entirely New by John Barry. This was nine days after President George Washington signed the Copyright Act of 1790 on May 31, 1790.

However, William Patry writes in his history that the date was June 14, 1790 (Copyright Law and Practice: The First Copyright Act).

via ContractsProf Blog

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Copyright


1. Crosbie Fitch on June 9, 2005 05:45 PM writes...

And prior to this, how many UK copyrighted books had US publishers pirated?


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2. Crosbie Fitch on June 9, 2005 06:30 PM writes...

Arrgh! What am I saying?!

I should have said:

And after this, how many years was it before US publishers stopped pirating UK books and respected UK copyright?

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3. Ernest Miller on June 9, 2005 06:44 PM writes...


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