The case of Bach v. Longman, 2 Cowper 623 (1777), is one that set important precedents for copyright law. The question in this case was whether written music was protected by the Statute of Anne (1710). According to Lord Mansfield, written music is legally protected as “writing” under the law.
FACTS OF THE CASE :
Johann Christian Bach and Karl Friedrich Abel filed a lawsuit against James Longman, a publisher, for breaching their works’ copyright in London.
The Statute of Anne, the only copyright law in effect at the time, was believed to exclude music from its purview.However, Lord Mansfield, the judge, discovered that the Statute’s preamble made reference to “books and other writings.” He believed that this included composed music.His choice paved the way for several further cases and created a more stable performing atmosphere that aided in the expansion of independent artists in the 18th century.
JUDGMENT REVIEW BY SREYA MARY.