Locke’s 1694 Memorandum (and More Incomplete Copyright Historiographies)
This is a reproduction of John Locke’s 1694(-5) memorandum opposing renewal of the Licensing Act, along with a short introduction. In the memorandum, Locke strongly attacks the monopoly held by the Stationers Company under the Licensing Act while simultaneously proposing a limited term property right in books – the approach finally accepted in the author-centered Statute of Anne. One option proposed by Locke is that authors’ property rights in their works would be recognized for an author’s life 70 year term. The introduction provides some historical background on the memorandum and reviews some previous treatments of the memorandum in intellectual property commentary.