The Implications of the Copyright Act: Dublin's Relations with London
This chapter discusses the implications of the Copyright Act of 1709 for Ireland. The reprinting of works first issued in other countries was therefore legitimate work for the Dublin printers. It became the staple of the Dublin book trade, but only in those popular works that the trade considered would have an assured sale in Ireland. Throughout the 18th century, the London booksellers were understandably resentful and they were loud in their accusations of piracy. Once the Copyright Act was passed, London booksellers had two causes of grievances against the Irish book trade. The official complaint was of the importation into Britain of cheap Irish reprints which threatened the market at home. Quite as important, though never formally expressed, was the damage done to the market in Ireland. It was only after the Act of Union that Ireland, under the Copyright Act of 1801, was forced to recognize the existence of literary property in law which led to a close relationship between two countries as illustrated by the importing of English books, subscription collection and commitment in imprints on both sides.
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