By Eli MacLaren
The 1867 Canadian confederation introduced with it expectancies of a countrywide literature, which a emerging type of neighborhood printers was hoping to provide. Reforming copyright legislation within the imperial context proved very unlikely, and Canada grew to become a chief marketplace for overseas publishers in its place. the next improvement of the corporation approach of particular publisher-importers grew to become a defining characteristic of Canadian alternate publishing for many of the 20 th century.
In Dominion and Agency, Eli MacLaren analyses the fight for copyright reform and the production of a countrywide literature utilizing formerly neglected archival assets resembling the Board of alternate Papers on the nationwide records of the uk. A groundbreaking research, Dominion and employer is a vital exploration of the criminal and monetary constructions that have been instrumental within the formation of modern Canadian literary culture.
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Extra info for Dominion and Agency: Copyright and the Structuring of the Canadian Book Trade, 1867-1918
In other words, imperial copyright would continue in Canada with unmitigated force, and a ponderous licensing scheme for authorized Canadian editions would be heaped on top of it so that, if an author did allow a Canadian printer to produce cheap copies, they could eﬀectively be kept out of the United Kingdom. The London publishers had no interest in countenancing a more liberal book trade, whether that entailed reprinting as Rose wished or free markets as Mallet envisioned; indeed, the first condition in Daldy’s list reveals that their abiding motive was to find a way of cancelling the Foreign Reprints Act.
The conflation of the author’s and the publisher’s interests was an age-old rhetorical trick of the trade; in fact, the two were quite separable: ‘what the author wants is the widest possible dissemination of his thoughts, combined with the best money return for them; what the English publisher wants, and has tried to secure is the monopoly of printing here [in Britain], and selling everywhere what he so prints! ’ The proposal of licensed Canadian reprinting, an abomination in the view of the London publishers, was not una ractive to British authors, and Charles Edward Trevelyan, Macaulay’s heir, had confirmed this in a series of open le ers to Longman in February.
This episode reveals an underlying problem in the structure of governance through which the ma er had to pass. Although the British government genuinely wrestled with the justice of copyright, finally it was not equally responsible to all interested parties. One constituency, the London publishers, was represented in the parliament at Westminster and therefore exercised electoral power over the government; another, the Canadian printers, was not. At the end of the day, the former possessed a disproportionate influence in determining legislation that thoroughly aﬀected both.
Dominion and Agency: Copyright and the Structuring of the Canadian Book Trade, 1867-1918 by Eli MacLaren