Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright

Professor Kretschmer’s co-authored publication ‘Privilege and Property’ (Cambridge OpenBook Publishers, 2010, with Professors Deazley and Bently) has been reviewed in the Swiss published journal Archiv für Urheber- und Medienrecht, or UFITA (trans. Copyright and Media Law).

The edited volume is a companion to the AHRC funded digital archivePicture of Professor Martin Kretschmer, ‘Primary Sources of Copyright’, which Professor Kretschmer has co-directed with Professor Bently of Cambridge University since 2006. The archive now comprises of more than 550 documents going back to Renaissance Italy (in facsimile, transcribed, translated and commented).

In the review, the lawyer and chairman of the Swedish Performing Rights Society, Dr Gunnar Petri, writes: “This magnificent resource comprises essential material from all the great traditions of copyright and will enormously facilitate comparative research…. By way of introduction, the editors present a highly interesting picture of the present state of copyright historiography, in itself a ground-breaking venture. They trace the elevation of copyright history into an academic subdiscipline to the years between about 1740 and 1790 in Britain, France and the German-speaking lands, see it in the jurisprudential treatises of the 19th century and note a decline in interest after the signing of the Bern convention [1886], signalling a more functional approach to copyright’s history.”

‘Privilege and Property’ and the digital archive at  “deserve the highest appreciation” (Petri).