One of the most important copyright decisions of the 18th century English jurisprudence: In 1767 bookseller Andrew Millar brought suit against Robert Taylor for Taylor's printing of James Thomson's The Seasons, the famous poem which Millar had purchased from the poet in 1729, and to which in his opinion he still owned exclusive rights. The arguments before the court explored in depth the questions of common-law copyright, the Statute of Anne, "booksellers' monopoly," and the rights of authors to their literary property. The court decided, three to one, in Millar's favor, who died just as the trial was beginning.
Sir James Burrow (1701-1782) was a legendary court reporter, and his account of Millar vs. Taylor is considered a "lucid and valuable" narrative. (Inventory #: 26985)