Printer in the middle: The Copyright Act 1879, the NSW Government Printing Office and legal deposit in nineteenth-century Australia

Journal article


Hargrave, J. 2020. Printer in the middle: The Copyright Act 1879, the NSW Government Printing Office and legal deposit in nineteenth-century Australia. Media History. 27 (4), pp. 438-456. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688804.2020.1833711
AuthorsHargrave, J.
Abstract

In The Government and Copyright, John Gilchrist poses the following questions regarding government and the Copyright Act 1968: ‘Should the government have a role as preserver of its own and privately owned copyright material? […] How adequate is the present law to achieve this objective?’ Similar questions could be applied to nineteenth-century Australia. As Government Printer, Thomas Richards oversaw the printing operations of the NSW Government Printing Office (GPO). When the Copyright Act 1879 (NSW) was enacted, Richards was appointed Registrar of Copyright and Office of Copyright Registry was situated at the GPO. Why was the government printer responsible for copyright, not the government or the libraries that oversaw legal deposit? Did Richards have the necessary resources? Was there a conflict of interest? This essay seeks to gauge the relationship between the GPO and the Copyright Act 1879 and the wider implications of copyright for nineteenth-century Australian print culture.

Keywordscopyright; printing; legal deposit; nineteenth-century Australia; libraries
Year2020
JournalMedia History
Journal citation27 (4), pp. 438-456
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1469-9729
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13688804.2020.1833711
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2020.1833711
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Oct 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Sep 2022
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