Saturday, July 05, 2014

First copyrighted map of the US?

Within the post titled Rare, Remarkable Maps Trace America’s Path to Independence

Buell’s map is the first map of the United States published in America by an American (also the first to be copyrighted here).

The map was published in 1784. The Copyright Act of 1790, the first federal copyright law, was enacted in May 1790. The "trick" here is that Buell sought a state copyright. Buell petitioned the General Assembly of Connecticut for a copyright for his soon-to-be-printed map on October 28, 1783, nine months after Connecticut became the first U.S. state to enact a copyright law. [In Wheaton v. Peters, a case between two reporters of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court found the federal Copyright Act provided the exclusive mechanism for protection of published works. Justice McLean: "Congress, then, by this act, instead of sanctioning an existing right, as contended, created it." ] Buell died in an almshouse in 1822.

See Rare Map on Display at Library Scored Some “Firsts”

Also from ConnecticutHistory:

At an early age, however, he got in trouble with the law, using his engraving skills to counterfeit the colonial currency. Because of his youth, he got off with what was considered a light sentence in those days: he had one ear cropped and he was branded on the forehead. -

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