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of prints and engravings, for the term of eight and twenty. years, by the statutes 8 Geo. II. c. 13. and 7 Geo. III. c. 38. besides an action for damages, with double costs, by statute 17 Geo. III. c. 57 (6). All which parliamentary protections

ST. 2. 245. Yet no one has a right to take down a play in shorthand, and to print it before it is published by the author. Amb. 694. A fair and bona fide abridgment of any book is considered a new work ; and however it may injure che sale of the original, yet it is not deemed in law to be a piracy or a violation

of the author's copyright. i Bro. 451, 2 Aik. 141. : An action may be brought, or an injunction obtained in a court or equity, though the publication be not entered in the register of the stationers company, i Bl. Rep. 330; but no one can be proses cuted for the penalties introduced by the stature, viz. a forfeiture of one penny for every sheet, and the sheets are to be defaced, unless the work is entered according to the directions of 15 G20.III. €. 53. which statute has secured to the universities and colleges therein mentioned, a perpetuity in the copyright of all books given or devised in truit for them by the authors. By the 12. Geo. II. c. 36. if any book be originally written and published in this country, and be afterwards reprinted abroad, and be imported and ex. posed to sale here, the importer and seller Mall forfeit all such books to be cancelled; and for every offence fall forfeit also five pounds, and double the value of the books, to be recovered with costs. Every sale of one book, or a parcel, is a distinct offence, by which a new penalty is incurred. 3 T. R. 509. Under this statute it seems immaterial whether the author's copyright is extinct or not, if the book has been reprinted in England within twenty years.

This statute was intended for the encouragement of printing in this country.

(6) The principal differences in these three statutes concerning prints seem to be these: the 8 Geo. II. gives an exclusive privilege of publishing to those who invent or design any print, for fourteen years only; the 7 Geo. III. extends the term to twenty-eight years absolutely, to all who either invent the design or make a print from another's design or picture ; and those who copy such prints within that time, forfeit all their copies, to be destroyed, and 5s. for each copy ; the 17 Geo. III. gives the proprietor an action to recover damages and double costs for the injury he bas-sustained þy the violation of his right,


appear to have been suggested by the exception in the statute of monopolies, 21 Jac. I. c. 3. which allows a royal patent of privilege to be granted for fourteen years to any inventor of a new manufacture for the fole working or making of the same ; by virtue whereof it is held, that a temporary property therein becomes vested in the king's patentec * (7).

k; Vern. 62.

(7) The patent is granted upon condition that the invention is new, or new in this country, and that the patentee fhall deliver a specification of his invention, containing such a description, plan, or model of the machine or article, as to be intelligible to every artift conversant in the same trade or manufactory,

Or the invention must be so described that the public may, at the end of fourteen years, have the use of it in as cheap and beneficial a manner as the patentee himself uses it. Hence if the speci. fication be in any part materially falfe, defective, obscure, or give directions which tend to mislead the public, the patent is against law and cannot be supported. The specifications are preserved in an office for public inspection. Some patents, in very valuable manu. factures, have been declared void, on account of the designed obkurity of the specification. Bull. N. P.76. I T. R. 602.




A SECOND method of acquiring property in pers Al fonal chattels is by the king's prerogative : whereby a right may accrue either to the crown itself, or to such as claim under the title of the crown, as by the king's grant, or by prescription, which supposes an antient grant.

Such in the first place are all tributes, taxes, and customs, whether constitutionally inherent in the crown, as flowers of the prerogative and branches of the cenfus regalis or antient royal revenue, or whether they be occasionally created by authority of parliament; of both which fpecies nf revenue we treated largely in the former volume. In these the king acquires and the subject loses a property, the instant they become due: if paid, they are a chofe in poffefsion; if unpaid, a chose in action. Hither also may be referred all forfeitures, fines, and amercements due to the king, which accrue by virtue of his antient prerogative, or by particular modern statutes : which revenues created by statute do always allimilate, or take the same nature, with the antient revenues; and may therefore be looked upon as arising from a kind of artificial or secondary prerogative. And, in either case, the owner of the thing forfeited, and the person fined or amerced, lose and part with the property of the forfeiture, fine, or amercement, the instant the king or his grantee acquires it.

In these several methods of acquiring property by preroga. tive there is also this peculiar quality, that the king cannot have a joint property with any person in one entire chattel, or such a one as is not capable of divifion or separation; but where the titles of the king and a subject concur, the king shall have the whole: in like manner as the king cannot, either by grant or contract, become a joint-tenant of a chattel real with another persona; but by such grant or contract shall become entitled to the whole in severalty. Thus, if a horse be given to the king and a private person, the king shall have the sole property : if a bond be made to the king and a subject, the king shall have the whole penalty; the debt or duty being one single chattel b; and so, if two persons have the property of a horse between them, or have a joint debt owing them on bond, and one of them alligns his part to the king, or is attainted, whereby his moiety is forfeited to the crown; the king shall have the entire horse, and entire debt c. For, as it is not consistent with the dignity of the crown to be partner with a subject, so neither does the king ever lose his right in any instance; but where they interfere, his is always preserred to that of another person d: from which two principles it is a necessary consequence, that the innocent though unfortunate partner must lose his share in both the debt and the horse, or in any other chattel in the same circumstances (1).

a See pag. 184.
1 Fitzh. Abr. 8. dette. 38. Plowd.

© Cro. Eliz, 263. Plowd. 323. Finch, Law. 178. 10 Mod. 245.

d Co. Litt. 30.


(1) If a joint-tenant of any chattel interest commits suicide, the right to the whole chattel becomes vested in the king. This was decided after much solemn and subtle argument in 3 Eliz. The case is reported by Plowd. 262. Eng. ed. Sir James Hales, a judge of the common pleas, and his wife were joint-tenants of a term for years; fir James drowned himself, and was found felo de se; and it was held that the term did not survive to the wife, but that fir James's interest was forfeited to the king by the felony, and that it consequently dre: she wife's intereit along with it. The argu.


. This doctrine has 110 opportunity to take place in certain other instances of title by prerogative, that remain to be mentioned; as the chattels thereby vested are originally and solely vested in the crown, without any transfer or derivative afa fignment either by deed or law from any former proprietor. Such is the acquisition of property in wreck, in treasure

trove, in waifs, in estrays, in royal fish, in fwans, and the [ 410 ] like; which are not transferred to the sovereign from any

former owner, but are originally inherent in him by the rules of law, and are derived to particular subjects, as royal franchises, by his bounty. These are ascribed to him, partly upon the particular reasons mentioned in the eighth chapter of the former book; and partly upon the general principle of their being bona vacantia, and therefore vested in the king, as well to preserve the peace of the public, as in trust to employ them for the safety and ornament of the common wealth.

ment of lord Chief Justice Dyer is remarkably curious : “ The fe-
“ lony (says he) is attributed to the act ; which act is always donc
by a living man, and in his lifetime, as my brother brown said;
" for he said fir James Hales was dead; and how came he to his
“ death? It may be answered by drowning; and who drowned him.
“ fir James Hales; and when did he drown him? in his lifetime,
“ So that fir James Hales being alive, caused fir James Hales to
“ die ; and the act of the living man was the death of the dead
" man. And then for this offence it is reasonable to punish tho
“ living man who committed the offence, and not the dead man.
“ But how can he be said to be punished alive, when the punish-
“ ment comes after his death? Sir, this can be done no other way
“ but by divesting out of him, from the time of the act done in his
« lifetime, which was the cause of his death, the title and pro-
“ perty of those things which he had in his lifetime.”

This must have been a case of notoriety in the time of Shakespeare; and it is not improbable that he intended to ridicule this legal logic by the reasoning of the grave-digger in Hamlet upon the drowning of Ophelia. See Sir J. Hawkins's note in Stephens's edition.


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