Sunday 7 May 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church with my wife. Home and dined. After dinner come Mr. Andrews and spent the afternoon with me, about our Tangier business of the victuals, and then parted, and after sermon comes Mr. Hill and a gentleman, a friend of his, one Mr. Scott, that sings well also, and then comes Mr. Andrews, and we all sung and supped, and then to sing again and passed the Sunday very pleasantly and soberly, and so I to my office a little, and then home to prayers and to bed.

Yesterday begun my wife to learn to limn of one Browne, which Mr. Hill helps her to, and, by her beginning upon some eyes, I think she will [do] very fine things, and I shall take great delight in it.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"one Browne" was a phenomenon and a bit of a fraud

Books published by Alexander Browne

O. Fialetti, The Whole Art of Drawing, Limning, Painting and Etching, published by Alexander Browne [Practitioner], Peter Stent and Simon Miller, London 1660 [Wing F844; Globe 535]

A. Browne, Ars Pictoria, or an Academy treating of Drawing, Limning, Painting, and Etching, by J. Redmayne, for the author, to be sold by him, and Richard Tompson, and Arthur Tooker, London 1669; 2nd edition 1675 for Arthur Tooker and William Battersby [Levis, pp. 22-25; Wing B5097-8; Globe 535; Griffiths 1998, 146; Sloan 2000, 34] [Electronic version: Early English Books Online]

A. Browne, A Compendious Drawing Book, for Austin Oldisworth, London 1677? [Wing B5099; Globe 535]…


"[A] current of influence from the continent found its way into the stream of ideas—a variation on the conventional ut pictura theme which relates the painter to the poet. This notion continued to flourish in England for a considerable period of time after the translation of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo's Trattato dell'arte della pittura by an odd scholar of Oxford, Richard Haydocke, student of Physic, which was published in 1598. Nicholas Hilliard, the miniaturist, read and applauded the work which appears to have inspired his own treatise on the art of limning (published by the Walpole Society, ed. Norman [1912], I, 1-50).

"From the point of view of this survey it is significant that several seventeenth-century writers on painting helped themselves to Haydocke's translation, usually without acknowledgment, and promulgated its notions, dogmas, and conventions to their succeeding audiences. Perhaps the most flagrant of these plagiarists was Alexander Browne, a mid-century painter, engraver, and teacher of London, one of whose pupils was Mrs. Samuel Pepys. He published in 1660 The Whole Art of Drawing. This was followed in 1669, by Ars Pictoria: or an Academy treating of Drawing, Painting, Limning, Etching. A second edition, “corrected and enlarged,” was printed in 1675. The whole book is a complex of borrowings from Haydocke's translation. It is practi- [page 298, Volume 3] cally a verbatim reprint, except that Browne has tried to conceal his pilferings by juggling the order of the chapters; but the attempt at deception would be immediately discovered by any reader familiar with Haydocke's Lomazzo."…

Australian Susan  •  Link

It has now been proved that even the famous and almost saintly Mrs Beeton was a flagrant plagiarist. See her biog. The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton. Amazon ref.…
Tsk! Tsk! If the Beetons could get away with it in the 19th century, one can imagine that it was much easier in the 17th.

cgs  •  Link

"...limn of one Browne,..."
\pardon my ignorance of the word Limn,Limner.

limn, v.
1. trans. To illuminate (letters, manuscripts, books). Also absol. Obs.

2. To adorn or embellish with gold or bright colour; to depict in (gold, etc.). Also (rare), to lay on (colour). Obs.
3. To paint (a picture or portrait); to portray, depict (a subject). Formerly spec. to paint in water-colour or distemper (see LIMNING vbl. n. 2). Also with forth, out.
4. Prov. to limn the water, limn (something) on water: said of something transient or futile.

5. absol. or intr. To paint; esp. to paint in water-colour or distemper. Obs.
1622 PEACHAM Compl. Gent. xiii. (1634) 126 The vertuous Margaret Queene of Navarre beside her excellent veine in Poesie could draw and limne excellently.

1665 PEPYS Diary 7 May, Yesterday begun my wife to learn to limn of one Browne.

1675 CROWNE Country Wit IV. 57 Merry. Cannot you Limne, Sir? Rambler. Limne, what dost thou mean? Merry. Why Limne, Sir, draw Pictures in little.


[Altered form of LUMINER: see LIMN v. and -ER1.]

1. An illuminator of manuscripts. Hist.

2. A painter, esp. a portrait painter. Sometimes spec., a water-colour artist.
1661-2 PEPYS Diary 2 Jan., Cooper, the great limner in little.

cgs  •  Link

limners 3: Todays

1661-2 PEPYS Diary 2 Jan.
by appointment, to meet with Mr. Grant, who promised to meet me at the Coffee-house to bring me acquainted with Cooper the great limner in little, but they deceived me,…

I met with Mr. Salisbury, who is now grown in less than two years’ time so great a limner*that he is become excellent, and gets a great deal of money at it.

*Portrait painter, also book illuminator. D.W.…

cgs  •  Link

Samuell is solving the problem of the lonely wife, get her to dabble in the arts.
Idle hands be the devil's hands.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"“one Browne” was a phenomenon and a bit of a fraud"

Browne was certainly not a ‘fraud’ and his behavior was well within the accepted publishing practices of the day. If you review the full titles of the works, copied below from the ESTC entries, Browne makes no claims to authorship whatsoever, merely to have acted as a compiler. Note the care used by the ‘National Portrait Gallery’ research webpage in describing the texts as “Books *published* by …”

The first work published by Brown has an author specifically identified in the title. [The source is Fialetti’s ‘Il vero modo et ordine per dissgnar tutte le parti et membra del corpo humano’ Venice, 1608] see:

‘The whole art of drawing, painting, limning, and etching. Collected out of the choicest Italian and German authors. To which is added exact rules of proportion for drawing the heads of men, women and children, of what bigness soever. Originally invented and written by the famous Italian painter Odoardo Fialetti, painter of Boloign. Published for the benefit of all ingenuous gentlemen and artists, by Alexander Brown practitioner.
London : printed for Peter Stint at the signe of the white Horse in Giltspurre-Street, and Simon Miller at the Starre in St Pauls Church-yard, M. D C. LX. [1660]
Added engraved title page: Variety of excellent symmetrical rules. [sic] of drawing limning &c. invented by Odoardo Fialet and others.

Brown’s second work again makes no claim to any form of ‘originality;’ the work is specifically and correctly described as "collected out of the most eminent Italian, German, and Netherland authors:” Lomazzo himself relied upon Durer’s ‘Vier Bucher’ (1528) for the basis of his theories of proportion, the unacknowledged source of the metalcuts illustrating Haydock's translation of 1598, Erasmus Wittelo for his optics and, amongst other Milanese predecessors, Bramantio for his perspective. (Martin Kemp, ‘Lomazzo, Giovanni Paolo’ ‘2. ... Theoretical Writings’, Dictionary of Art (corrected rpr. 2002) vol 19 pp 546-7.) The specifically astrological theorizing of Lomazzo is what Browne has chosen to omit See:

‘Ars pictoria: or An academy treating of drawing, painting, limning, and etching. To which are added thirty copper plates expressing the choicest, nearest and most exact grounds and rules of symetry; collected out of the most eminent Italian, German, and Netherland authors. By Alexander Brozzowne, practicioner of the Art of limning, and published for all ingenious gentlemen and artists.’ (1669)

Ars pictoria: or An academy treating of drawing, painting, limning, etching. To which are added XXXI. copper plates, expressing the choicest, nearest, and most exact grounds and rules of symmetry. Collected out of the most eminent Italian, German, and Netherland authors. B Alexander Browne, practitioner in the art of limning. (1675)

To re-arrange for clarity and re-publish selections from the translated text of another, itself based on a compilation from various sources, was well within the norms of seventeenth century print propriety, see the first three and seventh chapters of Adrian John’s extended discussion of English and specifically London C 17th./early C 18th. printing practice ‘The Nature of the Book,’ 1998. To describe Browne in any sense as a ‘plagiarist’ is, at best, anachronistic, the concept did not exist; to state Browne “has tried to conceal his pilferings by juggling the order of the chapters” is to demonstrate an absence of understanding of customary C17th. London practice in the printing and issuing of practical manuals Brown, in fact is arranging the text to fit his own method; and to use the word “deception” of Browne indicates the author had consulted neither the original text nor a verbatim transcript of the title.

[Browne's third work contains no substantial text and is a series of plates selected by Browne:

A compendious drawing-book. Composed by Alexander Browne limner. Collected from the drawings of ye most celebrated painters in Europe, engraven (with addition) on forty copper-plates, by Arnold de Jode, and others the best artists, published for ye use of the ingenious practitioners in the art of symmetry.
[London] : Printed for Austin Oldisworth at the Golden Ball in Cannon Street. Sold by the print-sellers in London and Westminster, [1677?]
[36] leaves of plates ; 2⁰. Wholly engraved. The titlepage is engraved and unnumbered; the remaining plates are numbered 1-38, but printed on 35 leaves with designs by various artists.]

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you, Michael for the extra information about Browne: this shows that what he did was very different from the behaviour of the Beetons who knew perfectly well that what they were doing was shading into flagrant dishonesty!

Ruben  •  Link

Many of Shakespeare's works where preceded by versions on the same theme by others. Romeo & Juliet comes from a late Greek tragedy (Anthia & Abrocomas). Masuccio (1476) tells us in his Novellino of two Siena youngsters "Mariotto & Gianozza" and what happened to them. Then one Luigi da Porto wrote "Istoria novellamente ritrovata di duoi nobili amanti, con la loro pietosa morte intervenuta nella cita di Verona nel tempo del Signor Bartolomeo della Scala" (This Scala is Escalus in Shakespeare's version). This was translated to French, Spanish and English. In Spanish the young lovers were presented to the public by no less than Lope de Vega and Rojas Zorrilla.
Now that we lost the use of copyrighted material as a source, we are becoming culturally poorer, because a good theme may get lost with a mediocre author.
Same in Music.

Phil  •  Link

Michael Robinson, would you know if Mr. Browne obtained permission to print the works of others, or paid them any of the proceeds from the sales of his books, or were the works he published from Public Domain? I believe the writers strike in the USA, to some degree, was for a share of the proceeds from dvd sales. Maybe Mr. Browne, in providing acknowledgement of the author(s), obtained a right to print their works, but to be fair there should also have been a monitary consideration.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

In modern-day mores, Phil. But I think Michael is perfectly correct in pointing out that this was not standard practice back in Browne's day. One could even make the argument that he was providing a public service by translating and compiling other authors' work, to make them more generally available to the English population.

We should always be careful when judging people and practices from Sam's time through the morals and conventions of our own. I prefer to simply observe (and be fascinated by what is different, and by how much has remained the same).

Awesome link, Jeannine! Totally on-topic, IMO...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"if f Mr. Browne obtained permission to print the works of others, or paid them any of the proceeds from the sales of his books"

Yes, Phil. Todd Bernhardt is correct (only after the Statute of Anne, the first copyright law, was it not a matter of mores but of law), and Michael Robinson is correct, and Frederick Hard ( author of the Dictionary of the History of Ideas article I quoted above) is not.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... if Mr. Browne obtained permission to print the works of others, or paid them any of the proceeds from the sales of his books, or were the works he published from Public Domain?"

Modern concepts of national and international 'intellectual property' ‘public domain’ et al. did not exist at the time and really only began to develop in the 250 years following the copyright act of 1710, which itself still uses the prior concepts of printers ‘privity.’ For common Law systems probably the real modern beginnings are found in the case of Donaldson v Beckett (1774) between the booksellers of London and Edinburgh over the rights to print James Thompson's 'The Seasons' which finally settled the long running question of whether an author had any rights at common law in a text prior to its first being printed.

The conceptual structure prior is entirely different and this is a quick and dirty summary of a complex system that changed much over time. What did exist were the exclusive rights granted by the Crown to manufacture a particular physical object, determined by the grant of a monopoly which was enforced by preventing others from manufacturing. In the case of printing, the Crown's ability to prevent printed book manufacture by destroying presses. The Crown also could act preemptively by prerogative, or through the common law courts, to suppress 'libels' (content) and their distribution without regard to physical form, print or manuscript, or the fact of prior printing or writing in England or abroad.

The permission to own presses was historically restricted to the members of The London Stationers Company who in turn determined whom amongst its members could physically own and run presses and how many. The right to print a book was at first determined by the physical ownership of a manuscript – the ‘copy.’ The Company Clerk maintained a register which described the texts members owned and printed as individuals or as a corporate body, the Stationers; the perpetual right of a Company member to print a text were determined by the scope and content of these individual Stationer’s register entries; these could be bought and sold entire, or in shares, or licensed for use for a particular period of time, only amongst the individual Company members.

The Crown had a duty to prevent the distribution of 'libel' by printer or writer. At this date texts were licensed for printing as being free from 'libel', in general, either by the Secretary of State (or another nominee) on behalf of the Crown, by the Archbishop of Canterbury (through his chaplains) or by particular bodies granted the privilege by the Crown, for example later the Royal Society. The details of how the licensing system of physical presses and the freedom of prosecution of old and new texts for 'libel,' functioned both under the Royal Perogative and under particular Acts of Parliament and questions of whether and how the Parliamentary Acts superseded or to any extent limited or affected the prior Crown prerogative are of extraordinary complexity. For example the freedom of Crown agents to enter and search property for printing presses at will; the authority of the Crown to issue 'general' search warrants to enter all premises to examine all papers for 'libel' etc. etc. The nature of a 'libel' sufficient to justify a prior suppression of printing and/or distribution, either by the Crown or a third party acting through a court, was an issue argued in various cases through the C 18th. and still today.

The printing and retailing of texts was always by a member or members of the Company. Bookseller members of the Stationers Company, who also might own presses, could only sell works that had been appropriately entered in the Company registers and licensed. Disputes between members either about the ownership and running of a press, or presses, about the number of copies agreed to be printed, or about the sale of printed texts were policed and settled by the Court of The Stationers Company which was based on the priority, scope and content of the entries made on behalf of printer members by the Company Clerk in its register -- these are printer's rights, not those of authors. Similarly the right to print an engraving was based on the ownership of the physical plate, at this date ‘images’ could not be owned only physical property. The status of new works printed outside the jurisdiction of the London Stationers, in Holland for example where printing was much less expensive, and their saleability by members of the company is a subject of extraordinary complexity.

A great deal has been written about how this intricate monopoly, 'libel' and licensing system functioned in detail and was enforced at particular times; and the varying meanings of the concepts of ‘privity in the copy’ and ‘piracy’ as it existed both between the printer members of the Company and between the Company as a body and the outside world. Suffice it to say that for London and England in the post restoration C 17th. Adrian Johns ‘The Nature of The Book’ (1998) really synthesizes and supersedes prior works.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Michael Robinson, thanks for the lesson in what we might call copy-right in the literal sense - the right to copy mechanically - and the role of the Stationer's Company therein.

"The Statute of Anne (short title Copyright Act 1709 8 Anne c.19; long title "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned") was the first copyright law in the Kingdom of Great Britain (thus the United Kingdom), enacted in 1709 and entering into force on April 10, 1710. It is generally considered to be the first fully-fledged copyright law. It is named for Queen Anne, during whose reign it was enacted.
"The statute of 1709 vested authors rather than printers with the monopoly on the reproduction of their works. It created a 21 year term for all works already in print at the time of its enactment and a fourteen year term for all works published subsequently."…

The matter of the "real modern beginnings" of copyright is apparently in dispute.

CGS  •  Link

:there were about 140 legal printers at this time , the industry be tightly controlled tis why free press amendment be so important 120 years later.

segment: [ free press??]
Power to search and seize.; To apprehend Authors, Printers, &c…
The printing trade was kept under strict control by the state, a control exercised chiefly through the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Stationers' Company. This company made an order on 9 May 1615 limiting the number of presses in the City of London to nineteen. Similar, but for the most part ineffectual, attempts were made from time to time to stop the natural growth of the art of printing. In a list of printers in England who in 1649- 50 entered into recognizances not to print seditious books, among sixty-seven names, only one Middlesex printer is found-William Bentley of Finsbury. (fn. 2) In 1666, the year of the Great Fire, the entire number of working printers in and about London was stated to be 140, but how many of them were working outside the City does not appear.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

The matter of the “real modern beginnings” of copyright is apparently in dispute

Again a 'quick and dirty summary': what the Act of Anne does is to make the author a participant member of the old system; to give the 'author' a right to an exclusive transferable license to print for a period of years, 'the Copy,' provided certain conditions are first satisfied; the first of these is an entry of the title in the register at Stationer’s Hall. The author's 'right to print' comes into being when the book title is 'entered' in the Stationer's Register, and the other terms of the Act are followed, not merely because an author created a text.

Copyright, in the modern sense, as an author's or inventors exclusive property by virtue of creation, ie could 'ideas' in any sense be 'property' at common law and without registration, was discussed in part in some of the judgments in Donaldson v Beckett (1774).

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you, Michael! Truly awesome! Copyright is *such* a complex issue.As a librarian, just about everyday, I had to explain to someone why they couldn't do something connected with the photocopier, the internet, flash drives, cameras, other recording devices and so on as it broke copyright laws.Probably the first attempts to license and control printers came about because of fears of sedition - and paranoia not justice for authors was the driving force in 1649!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"could ‘ideas’ in any sense be ‘property’ at common law and without registration, was discussed in part in some of the judgments in Donaldson v Beckett (1774)."

Whatever the discussion in Donaldson v Beckett (1774), currently "Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. For example, the copyright to a Mickey Mouse cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative works based on Disney's particular anthropomorphic mouse, but doesn't prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they're different enough to not be judged copies of Disney's. In many jurisdictions, copyright law makes exceptions to these restrictions when the work is copied for the purpose of commentary or other related uses (See Fair Use, Fair Dealing). Meanwhile, other laws may impose additional restrictions that copyright does not — such as trademarks and patents."…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

“could ‘ideas’ in any sense be ‘property’ at common law and without registration, was discussed in part in some of the judgments in Donaldson v Beckett (1774).”

My quick and dirty writing was not clear:

Copyright, in the modern sense, as an author’s or inventors exclusive property by virtue of *and at the instant of* creation *of a text*, ie could ‘ideas’ in any sense be ‘property’ at common law and without registration, was discussed in part in some of the judgments in Donaldson v Beckett (1774).

"Ideas" could definitely not be common law property. For some of the judges allowing the existence of a common law 'Literary Property' immediately on the creation of any writing, when the concept of property was definitely not applied to the "expression of an idea" in the creation of a mechanical device, such as a new watch or an orrery, or for printed music, was the thin edge of the wedge in permitting the conversion of 'ideas' into property at common law and for this reason completely unacceptable. For example Lord Camden:

"What are the foundations of this claim in the English common law? Why, in the first place, say the respondents, every man has a right to his ideas. Most certainly, every man who thinks has a right to his thoughts while they continue his; but here the question again returns; when does he part with them? When do they become publici juris? While they are in his brain no one indeed can purloin them; but what if he speaks, and lets them fly out in private or public discourse? Will he claim the breath, the air, the words in which his thoughts are clothed? Where does this fanciful property begin, or end, or continue? Oh, say they, the ideas are marked in black and white, on paper or parchment-now, then, we get at something; and an action, I allow, will lie for ink and paper: but what says the common law about the incorporeal ideas, and where does it prescribe a remedy for the recovery of them, independent of the materials to which they are affixed? I see nothing about the matter in all my books; nor were I to admit ideas to be ever so distinguishable and definable, should I infer they must be matters of private property, and objects of the common law?"


In New York this perpetual common law copyright generated at the moment of a text/works creation re-surfaced in new form in 2005, and is apparently completely independent of the copyrights specified in the US Constitution and international treaties:-

United States - New York High Court Expands Copyright Protection for Recordings

The New York Court of Appeals significantly expanded common law copyright protections in Capitol Records v. Naxos of America. The Court stated that recording artists are perpetually shielded under New York standards even when their foreign copyrights have expired.

The case arose from a federal dispute over the right of Naxos of America to market restorations of recordings of classical music originally recorded during the 1930s in the United Kingdom. All U.K. copyrights in the recordings had expired by 1990. In 1996 EMI Records, whose predecessor, The Gramophone Co. Limited, produced the original recordings, gave Capitol Records exclusive rights to exploit these recordings in the U.S. market. Naxos of America also wished to preserve these important historical recordings. It located copies of the original 1930s recordings and undertook its own restoration process in the United Kingdom. The remastered compact disc versions produced by Naxos were distributed for sale in the United States beginning in 1999, competing with the compact disc products marketed by Capitol. Naxos never obtained a license from Capitol and rebuffed Capitol's demand to cease and desist from the sale of the Naxos compact discs.

Capitol commenced an action against Naxos in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2002. The complaint set forth claims of common-law copyright infringement, unfair competition, misappropriation and unjust enrichment, all of which were premised on the law of the State of New York, the situs of the alleged infringement. Naxos moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, arguing that the recordings had entered the public domain in the United Kingdom and, hence, the United States as well. Capitol moved for, among other relief, partial summary judgment on liability.

The District Court granted summary judgment to Naxos, finding that the common law copyrights had expired with UK copyrights, and noted that public policy favored the preservation and redissemination of classical performances. The court held that Capitol failed to show that Naxos had engaged in the type of bad faith required to sustain an unfair competition cause of action. Capitol appealed.

The Second Circuit, after reviewing the history of copyright law and noting that only post-1972 recordings were protected under federal copyright statutes, and that federal case law had specifically left to the states (at least until the year 2067) issues relating to common law coverage of property not protected under federal statutes or treaties (as the recordings in question were not), found there was nothing to prevent New York common law from applying. Under that law, according to the Nrw York Court of Appeals in responding to a question certified to it by the Second Circuit, the original author had a perpetual right of ownership, and even the public sale of recordings did not dissipate that right. Such an action was entirely distinct from an action seeking to recover for unfair competition. Naxos’ argument that it was in essence creating a new product was unsuccessful as it would have been under the fair use doctrine. Thus, the court held that Naxos was not entitled to defeat Capitol’s claim for infringement of common-law copyright in the original recordings.

Traditonally, common law copyrights apply only to unpublished works and publication acts to terminate the commn law right. An eventual certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.…

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Musicians tend to copy music rather freely and have been doing it illegally ever since the Black Books of the 1950s. Church organists are more strict about always having a properly purchased copy (called an "original") for anything they play. Choirs are pretty good about singing from originals, sometimes they make a copy of an original if they are short a part or two. I play organ and was taught to "be legitimate" and have a properly purchased copy, even for something I was playing by memory, and leave off what those low life jazz boys do.

Phil  •  Link

As I read Sam's diary, the larceniousness of his society was apparent in many business deals described. Thank God, thought I, that I did not live in that society. And my conviction was re-enforced upon learning that Mr. Browne could publish other authors works without their permission. As Todd points out "One could even make the argument that he was providing a public service.."

But yikes, all these wonderful annotations on copy right has me thinking we really haven't come that far. In the world of copy right Sam had Shakespeare who was said to have plagiarzied Othello from the works of author Giraldi Cinthio, and some of his best plots from Holished and nowadays we have Dan Brown and the Da Vince Code fresh out of court. In our business world we have Conrad Black and many large corporation managers in jail.

And here's my frogger for today, we are living longer Sam but no wiser. Time to tackle Jeannine's suggested website.

POST NOTE: frogger = that which goes "too deep, too deep"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"her beginning upon some eyes"

L&M note this was usually a drawing pupil's first exercise in those days.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Hold still!"

"Bess, my neck hurts...And I have more work to do. Will this take all night?"

"Just keep holding that contract...Higher...Look dignified...And be quiet."

Art lessons...Sam sighs.

Well at least I've nothing to be jealous of with Browne.


"Hmmn? Can I?"

"No! But I was thinking I'd like to take lessons from Mr. Halys."


Now...So full of jealousy am I...

"Say...Hold that narrow-eyed, barely suppressed rage look...That's great."


Carl in Boston  •  Link

Phil says: But yikes, all these wonderful annotations on copy right has me thinking we really haven’t come that far.
Har, Har, Har. If you look at the music stand while the Glenn Miller Orchestra is playing, you see beautiful parchment paper, will last for fifty years, with notes copied out by a guy with a music ink pen in one hand and a glass of Scotch in the other. Then there are guys who break out the ink pen and the Scotch, listen to a recording (Glenn Miller) and pick apart the music in their head. They write out the parts and sell the music to bands for their black books. Everybody does it, so I'm told, sometimes, maybe. There's nobody doing that around here. I say, there's nobody doing that around here.
A-----'s Restaraunt just got fined $10,000 by ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) for not paying royalties or having an ASCAP license, though they had live jazz in the lounge. (Businesses have to pay, not the musicians). The Boy Scouts have to, or should, pay ASCAP if they sing Kum Ba Yay at the campfire, because it is copyrighted. There are two hundred different kinds of licenses including a couple for campgrounds. Still, people sing Kum Ba Yah without paying royalties. Every doggy has his day, everybody has to pay.

Australian Susan  •  Link


How long before Sam looks at his wife's drawings of eyes and starts to think they look like - Pembleton's? Hewer's? Capt. Fluellin's? etc etc. Not so unlikely from the man who checked if the bed was warm after one's Pembleton's visits.

dirk  •  Link

Thanks everybody for the discussion on "copyright".
Not an easy subject, but I've read a lot of useful information here today.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary:

"God good in manifold mercies, the lord continues his kindness to me for which my soul blesses him, I began to expound things out of the church catechism for the information of youth, god good to me in the word, the season dry"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Carl, beware that ongoing "Simpsons" joke where a lawyer is waiting round every corner... "Mr. Simpson I represent the estate of the late Jimmy Durante and I order you to cease and desist any use of..."

Since some of the greatest (or at least, most fun) literary and musical works have been brilliant adaptations of often formerly mediocre or worse bits (Shakespeare for example) lets hope some sensible and fair compromise is one day worked out.

Ruben  •  Link

Thanks for the annotations concerning copyright. I learned a lot.
Still, I feel, there is no way to compare U.S. with Tanganika. The law implemented in the US (or UK,or the like) are good for them (specially for the lawyers). But if you expect those societies coming from behind to comply with your "rules of the game", you will have to work hard to convince them it is for their good. There is more than one country you may call "one CD country". After someone brings one original CD it is copied and copied and copied. No one feels obliged to pay Mr. Gates or Mr. whoever for his intellectual property. Good people, honest people but with a different set of values and mores than those in the West.
But this is becoming a digression.
I am with Robert.

Where is Salty to tell us: O Tempora O Mores.

Frank J. Artusio  •  Link

Re: Copyright Laws in the 17th Century

It occurs to me that the printing press had only been around about 150 years by Pepys' time. The laws had not yet then caught up with its potential. When books had to be copied by hand and only a select few of the population were capable of doing it, there was not much money to be made. The goal was to preserve and pass on knowledge, much like the annotations in this site. People wrote books to express their ideas, provide a manual for ideas they were then teaching or gain a piece of immortality, among other things, but were only beginning to realize that could was money to be made by the author. Copying parts of someone else's work, as long as the original author's name was given, achieved these goals. Printers themselves were producing a product and making the money.

I suspect, without any knowledge on the subject, that printers supported nascent copyright laws in order to protect their own "product" from copying by other printers. The first printed books, such as the Bible, had no issue of copyright involved. In the early years thereafter people probably wrote and published original works BECAUSE printing allowed a wide dissemination and could establish such authors as authorities of a particular knowledge. Copying and free dissemination of the work would have enhanced this purpose. Shakespeare's plays, as entertainment, made their money from performance, not the printed form, until after his death. Printing preserved them, but was also a source of income for the printer.

By Pepys's time, commerce was beginning to establish itself in a way that the growing middle class, our Sam included, were looking for ways to make money as well as reputation. (The same is true of what we now call his dabbling in "graft".) It was probably not until the 17th Century that those who wrote books included not only those with the leisure time to do so, but those who needed to make their living from the very activity, and therefore to protect the market-value of their work. And still, printers who in effect were speculating on any new work they published, needed to protect the value of the monopoly in the work which they created by being the first to print it. Thus, we think of the author's rights, but back then it would have been the printer and the printers' guild that would have pushed for such things and then only after the problem of plagiarism had established itself as a threat to their own livelihood.

Lurker  •  Link

Ephraim Chambers (of Cyclopedia fame) says this about "Plagairy, in Philology *Author-Theft*":

[T]he Practice of purloining other Peoples Works, and putting them off for a Man's own.
Among the Romans, Plagiarius was properly a Person who
bought, sold, or retain'd, a free Man for a Slave; to call'd, becausre the Flavian Law condemned such a Person to be whipp'd, ad plagas.

*Thomasus* has an express Treatise *de plagio litterario*; wherein he lays down the Laws and Measures of the Right which Authors have to one anothers Commodities.—Difionary-Writers, at least such as meddle with Arts and Sciences seem exempted from the common laws of Meum and Tuum; they don't pretend to set up on their own bottom, nor to treat you at their own Cost.

Their Works are supposed, in great Measure, Assemblages of other Peoples,; and what they take from others they do it avowedly, and in the open Sun.—In effect, their Quality gives them a Title to every thing that may be for their purpose wherever they find it; and if they rob, they dot't do it any othetwise, than as the Bee does, for the publick Service. Their Occupation is not pillaging; but collecting Contributions; and if you ask them their Authority, they'll produce you the Practice of their Predecessors of all Ages and Nations. See DICTIONARY.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Concepts of plagiary

Chambers "Dictionary" appeared first in 1728. The concept of plagiary, as a separate entity from the printers' categories of propriety, userption and piracy, really started to emerge as as its own category with the 'natural philosophers' post Restoration attempt to introduce some of the conventions of gentility into a freewheeling commercial print culture, not least to prevent their own works, whose credibility rested on and reflected their honor, from distortion by printers. (Hence the Royal Society's decision to license publications, etc.) However this genteel culture had its own conventions also quite different from the modern-- William Prynne was thought a pedant, ie ungentlemanly, for providing references to standard works whose words he incorporated into his own texts. Again for details and a full discussion see Adrian Johns "Nature of the Book," (1998)

The earliest examples of the use of the word in print culture in a sense approaching the modern all date from the last quarter of the C 17th.:

Yonge, James, 1647-1721.
Medicaster medicatus, or a remedy for the itch of scribling. The first part. Written by a country practitioner in a letter to one of the town, and by him prefaced, and published, for cure of John Brown; one of his late Majesties ordinary chyrurgeons, containing an account of that vain plagiary, and remarks on his several writings. Wherein his many thefts, contradictions, absurdities, gross errors, ignorance, and mistakes, are displayed, and divers vulgar errors in chyrurgery and anatomy refuted. By James Young, chyrurgeon.
London : printed for Gabriel Kunholt, at the Kings Head, at Charing Cross, over against the Muse, 1685.

Langbaine, Gerard, 1656-1692.
New catalogue of English plays . Momus triumphans: or, The plagiaries of the English stage; expos’d in a catalogue of all the comedies, tragi-comedies, masques, tragedies, opera’s, pastorals, interludes, &c. both ancient and modern, that were ever yet printed in English. The names of their known and supposed authors. Their several volumes and editions: with an account of the various originals, as well English, French, and Italian, as Greek and Latine; from whence most of them have stole their plots. By Gerard Langbaine Esq;
London : printed for N[icholas]. C[ox]. and are to be sold by Sam. Holford, at the Crown in the Pall-Mall, 1688 [i.e. 1687]

Briscoe, John, fl. 1695.
Mr. John Asgill his plagiarism detected; and his several assertions, of which he pretends to be the author, proved to be taken out of Mr. Briscoe’s Discourse on the late funds.
London : printed for Andrew Bell at the Cross-Keys in the Poultrey, M.DC.XCVI. [1696]

CGS  •  Link

theft of Ideas: Many a person of ideas did not print or mention them until he could get them distilled for clarity, so that many ideas were not published until the originator /author was near demise or had no longer any fear of being an ingrate to his leader, or having them stolen and published elsewhere.
It was very rare really of a thinker to exposed his unusual thoughts before he could cast them in concrete.

It is now fertile ground for all those that seek a thesis to analyze all those thinkers, to find out when these special ideas took root before flowering and giving off new pollen for further growth, as fear of being trumped was on their minds.

That be why RS was such a special place, allowing people to voice an incomplete thought,the ripping off of good ideas was rife at the club of ideas.
A great source of opinions to write about.
It was not until better protection of original thought came into being that we got real progress in scientific community as there was paranoia in even giving vent to some ideas, so these ideas lay wasted in not being exposed to the world at large.
Many concepts needed more than one brain to get it off the ground, so that it never happened , as one man can keep a secret , two the world knows.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Yesterday begun my wife to learn to, limn of one Browne,"

L&M note: Pepys became dissatisfied with his wife's progress and came to resent both her neglect of domestic duties and Browne's presence at his table:……
Later, however, he was delighted with his wife's pictures:……
Browne appears to have given lessons also to Peg Penn:…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

What a contrast with yesterday.

Despite a bit if business with Mr Anrdews, this 'Lords's Day' has truly turned out to be a day of relaxation and recuperation, as well as the statutory religious observance - a "Sabbath made for Man ..."

There was also the barest mention of the second visit to church and the sermon - perhaps Sam slept though it again? :D

LKvM  •  Link

What a lot of commentary about copyright! This must have really hit a nerve among the scholarly commentators of this blog.
Everybody needs to wake up to the news that only librarians obsess over copyright in these days of photocopying, at-home printing of scanned works, etc.
Re music, I had an enormous fake book way back in the 1970s that I played from every day with great content. I doubt that any musician whose work was in that fake book would have given a tinker's dam about such use of their work.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Copyright maybe on the outs but the idea of cultural appropriation is not. Perhaps if it was copyrighted we could all do it with impunity?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lack of copyright protection wasn't the only problem. Lack of a way to register and profit from inventions cost lives:…

The Chamberlen family (1560–1728) and obstetric forceps -- by Professor Peter Dunn.

The invention of obstetrics forceps in the 17th century represented a technical advance in the management of childbirth. The story of the forceps concerns 5 generations of the Chamberlen family.

Peter Chamberlen the elder was born in Paris in 1560, the first son of a Huguenot surgeon, William Chamberlen. Forced to flee, the family reached Southampton in 1569 where a second son, also named Peter, was born. Both sons became practitioners of midwifery.

Peter Chamberlen the elder moved to London in 1596 and became accoucheur to Queen Anne. Both sons followed him, and joined the Barber Surgeons Company.

In 1628 Peter the elder attended Queen Henrietta Maria when she was in trouble with her first birth. The baby died, but against all odds, the Queen survived.

Following the Restoration another Peter Chamberen reminded Charles II he was the only surviving physician to their Majesties, and in 1661 was reappointed Physician in Ordinary to the King and Queen Catherine.

This Dr. Peter Chamberlen first married Jane Myddelton by whom he had 11 sons, three of whom, Hugh, Paul, and John practiced midwifery. After Jane’s death, Dr. Chamberlen married Ann Harrison by whom he had 5 more children.

Dr. Peter Chamberlen's obstetric instruments were found under the floorboards of his home, Woodham Mortimer Hall, where they were hidden by Ann on his death in 1683. The metal forceps blades were fenestrated, and well formed. Each blade was straight with a cranial curve for grasping the head. The blade edges were rounded. Each blade was separate to allow independent application. The lock was a fixed pivot on one blade which fitted into a hole in the other.

This Dr. Peter Chamberlen's eldest son, Hugh the elder, also practiced midwifery.

It is not known which Chamberlen invented the obstetric forceps which remained the family secret for more than 100 years. The Chamberlens went to great lengths to keep their secret. They arrived at the house of the woman in labor in a special carriage, accompanied by a huge wooden box. It took two men to carry the box, and everyone believed it contained a complicated machine. The laboring woman was blindfold lest she see the “secret.” Only the Chamberlens were allowed in the lying-in room, from which relatives heard peculiar sounds as the “secret” went to work.

For a century women died because the Chamberlens had no way to profit from the family invention, except by maintaining it as a trade secret. -- Extracted from “The Dictionary of National Biography”

jimmigee  •  Link

"only librarians obsess over copyright in these days . . ."
Those of us who have written biographies, histories, etc. need be aware of copyright laws and "fair use" when dealing with sources including photographs.

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