Bach v. Longman, London (1777)

Source: Lincolns Inn Library

Bach v. Longman, London (1777), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

Back | Record | Images | Commentaries: [1]
Record-ID: uk_1777

Permanent link:

Full title:
Bach v. Longman (1777) 2 Cowp. 623

Full title original language:

A case, initiated by two composers, Johann Christian Bach and Karl Friedrich Abel, concerning whether or not printed music fell within the protection of the Statute of Anne (uk_1710). Lord Mansfield holds that published music is protected as 'writing' within the terms of the legislation. The commentary explores attitudes to the protection of music throughout the eighteenth century on the part of publishers, composers and musicians, and in particular the use of the printing privilege by some composers to secure the right to publish their work, and the efforts of the music publishers to secure legislative protection in the mid-eighteenth century.

1 Commentary:

  • Sanjek, R., American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, 3 vols. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988)

  • Hunter, D., 'Music Copyright in Britain to 1800', Music & Letters, 67 (1986): 269-82 (273)

  • Carroll, M., 'The Struggle for Music Copyright', Florida Law Review, 57 (2005): 907-61

Related documents in this database:

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1777

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Lincolns Inn Library

Persons referred to:
Bach, Johann Christian
George III
Longman, James
Mansfield, William Murray, 1st Earl
Robinson, Charles
Wood, Sir George

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:
Bach v. Longman (1777) 2 Cowp. 623

Institutions referred to:
Court of King's Bench

Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Anne, c.19

authorship, theory of
music publishing
music, protected subject matter
privileges, printing

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (

You may not publish these documents for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is co-published by Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK and CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, 10 The Square, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK