# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer




William Billings' Second Petition, Massachusetts (1772)

Source: Massachusetts Archives, LVIII, 598-599.

William Billings' Second Petition, Massachusetts (1772), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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is about to be taken against him, & that others
are endeavoring to reap the Fruits of his great La=
bour & Cost            That this hon[orable] Court so far coun=
tenanced & sustained his Petition, as to commit the
same, & that your Committee reported in favor of
your Petitioner; but it being suggested by a worthy
Member of this hon[orable] Court, that they should be
certain that your Petitioner was the real Author
of the Book, whereupon the Consideration thereof
was referred to the next Session. In answer to which
your Memorialist avers that he is the sole Author,
& should have been ashamed to have exposed himself
by publishing any Tunes, Anthems, or Canons, com=
posed by another; however fully to satisfy this
hon[orable] Court, your Memorialist stands very ready
to be examined by any Committee, or the whole ge=
neral Assembly, if they think proper, though he doubts
not that at this Time of Day there are sundry
Members of this hon[orable] Court upon that Head
fully satisfyed; but so it is may it please your
Excellency & Honors, that your Memorialist's
former Petition is [as he is informed] either lost or misplaced, he
therefore prays that the same may be revived,
& that he may, by the Indulgence of this Hon[orable] Court,
be favored with the alone Privilege, of printing
his own Composition for a number of years, as
to this Hon[orable] Court shall deem meet, & your Memo=
rialist, as in Duty bound, shall ever pray ~~~~

                                                      W[illiam] Billings


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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