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Sweden’s first copyright acts (1810-1877)

”Every script [copy] shall be the author’s or his legal rights holder’s property. He who prints or reprints a script [copy] without the author’s or publisher’s written permission, shall lose the entire edition or pay a fine to its full value, undividedly accrued to the plaintiff.”

This was the first, very brief, copyright legislation in Sweden. It was subsection 8 of the first section of the (constitutional) Freedom of the Press Act of 1810. In 1855 came a civil law, outside of the constitutional laws, concerning dramatic works, and in 1876 came the first ”regulation on ownership of script [copy]”. It was a temporary solution, and already the next year saw the enactment of the first more elaborate Swedish law on authors’ rights, 1877.

I have for many years been working on a book about copyright history. At the book’s web site, I have now uploaded these first four Swedish copyright laws. At the bottom of the web pages there are comments in Swedish and English.

See http://www.copyrighthistory.com

Pingad på Intressant.

Open access to scientific articles

”Nothing short of a revolution”, said The Guardian’s science correspondent David Adam recently (October 6) in his article ”Scientists take on the publishers in an experiment to make research free to all”. A new publishing group called the Public Library of Science (PLoS) that will distribute its journals free of charge, as opposed to the major multinational publishing houses like Elsevier Science that package scientific findings into hundreds of specialist journals and sell them for thousands of pounds a year, Adams wrote. October 9 The Guardian published an article under ”opinion”, by biologist Michael Eisen, ”Publish and be praised” where he says:

The cheapest and most powerful way by far to distribute published scientific work is the internet. In online publication of research articles, all the costs intrinsic to publication are spent in producing the original peer-reviewed, edited and formatted copy of each work. With printing costs eliminated, and distribution infinitesimally cheap, the costs of publication are now independent of the number of readers.

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