Copyright Act of 1831

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Copyright Act of 1831
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to Amend the Several Acts Respecting Copyrights
Effective February 3, 1831
Statutes at Large 4 Stat. 436
Legislative history

The Copyright Act of 1831 was the first general revision to United States copyright law. The bill is largely the result of lobbying efforts by American lexicographer Noah Webster.

The key changes in the Act included:

  • Extension of the original copyright term from 14 years to 28 years, with an option to renew the copyright for another 14 years
  • Addition of musical compositions to the list of statutorily protected works (though this protection only extended to reproductions of compositions in printed form; the public performance right was not recognized until later)
  • Extension of the statute of limitations on copyright actions from one year to two
  • Changes in copyright formality requirements

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Works related to Copyright Act of 1831 at Wikisource

  • Full text of the Copyright Act of 1831, as passed