The Book Trade.doc

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St. Michael's College Courses
Lindsey Eckert

SMC228 November 27, 2012 The Book Trade in the Hand-Press Period -master printer - guy who runs the print shop, controls what is being printed, who is doing the work -journeymen - compositors, skilled pressmen, travelling from print shop to print shop -apprentices - working for lower wages -correctors - correcting the proofs -lines b/w what we now think of as publishers, printers, and booksellers were blurry (often indistinguishable) -through the 18th century, the term "bookseller" might refer either to the one paying to produce the book or the retailer -the bookseller was often also a printer -lines between the production side and selling side were not always clear (see Darnton's model) Stationers' Company -English printing guild -imposed strict rules (and strict punishments for breaking them) -though there weren't always official legal regulations, the book trade was still regulated -had a monopoly over printing in England -controlled piracy -ownership rights were not protected unless a book was officially entered into the register of the Stationers' Company -the Company was separate from the monarchy and from the government however they did work with government censorship -in 1668, there were only 198 register printers in total in London -14% (roughly 28 people) were master printers - highly trained, lots of money -they controlled the London trade and no doubt knew each other -once the book trade grew, specialized publishers arose -this also helped regulate copyright and prices -two major shifts in the 18th Century: -increasing industrialization and the loss of the Stationer's Company's power -why did the Stationer's Company lose power? -introduction of legal copyright protection for authors and publishers -rise of the idea of the author as an individual genius; as someone who is entitled to their own works Authorship and the Book Trade -author vs. writer -the book trade has almost always require either regulation bodies or monopolies; it does not respond well to the free market -what form these regulations tool )and what bodies did the regulating) has changed over history -copyright was a largely irrelevant concept for most of the history of reading (mostly due to the development of the printed book) plagiarism: ethical infringement copyright violation: economic infringement The Book Trade Before Copyright -William Caxton brought printing to England in 1476 -printing involved higher outlay of capital and therefore higher financial risk than manuscript reproduction -unchecked competition between early printers resulted in many bankruptcies -copyright was at first largely an issue of gentlemanly, professional courtesy -eventually copyright was established through legal channels -copyright belonged to printer/bookseller/publisher, not author -copyright held in perpetuity: all texts effectively under copyright forever Act of Queen Anne, 1710 -Author granted sole right of distributing a text for 14 years from first publication, with another 14 years of extension (28 total) -books already in print were protected for 21 years -modeled on patent law -the law change but practices didn't -Act important for 3 reasons: -introduced the author into the legalities of copyright -the concept of the author was central to limiting monopolies -but authors' rights to property were also used to counter the Act What constitutes a lit
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