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Common-law copyright is the legal doctrine which grants copyright protection based on common law of various jurisdictions rather than through protection of statutory law like the federal copyright statute in part it is based on the contention that copyright is a natural right and creators are therefore entitled to the same protections anyone would be in regard to tangible and real property the proponents of this doctrine contended that creators had a perpetual right to control the publication of their work the natural right aspect of the doctrine was repudiated by the courts in the United Kingdom and the United States in both countries the courts found that copyright is a limited right created by the legislature under statutes and subject to the conditions in terms the legislature sees fit to impose in the United States common law copyright also refers to state level copyrights these are ordinarily preempted by federal copyright law but for some categories of works common-law copyright may be available for instance in the New York State 2005 case Capitol Records V Nexus of America the court held that pre-1970 cording 'z which do not receive federal copyrights may nevertheless receive state common law copyrights battle of the booksellers until the enactment of the statute of a publisher could pass on their royal grants of copyright to their heirs in perpetuity when the statutory copyright term provided for by the statute of Anne began to expire in 1731 London booksellers thought to defend their dominant position by seeking injunctions from the court of chancery for works by authors that fell outside the statute protection at the same time the London booksellers lobbied Parliament to extend the copyright term provided by the statue to van eventually in a case known as midwinter V Hamilton the London booksellers turn to common law and starting a thirty-year period known as the Battle of the booksellers the Battle of the booksellers saw London booksellers locking horns with the newly emerging Scottish book trade over the right to reprint works falling outside the protection of the statute of Anne the Scottish booksellers argued that no common law copyright existed in an author's work the London booksellers argued that the statute of Anne only supplemented and supported a pre-existing common law copyright the dispute was argued out in a number of notable cases including Miller V Kincaid and Thomson V Collins when Donaldson V Beckett reached the House of Lords in 1774 only one Lord Thomas Littleton spoke in favor of common law copyright Lord Camden was most strident in his rejection of the common law copyright warning the Lord's that should they vote in favor of common law copyright effectively a perpetual copyright all our learning will be locked up in the hands of the Thompson's and the lint arts of the age moreover he warned that booksellers would then set upon books whatever price they pleased till the public became as much their slaves as their...