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visions for the enlarged term given by the act, to be computed from the time of the first entry of the copy-right under the former statutes, and with the like privilege of renewal, as is provided in relation to copy-rights originally secured under the act of 1831. All the provisions and remedies intended for the protection and security of copy-rights, are declared to extend to the benefit of the proprietors of copy-rights already obtained according to law, during the extended term thereof, in the same manner as if the copy-right had been entered and secured under the new act.a

Under the English law it was understood that if the author assigned away his right generally, and outlived the period of 28 years, his assignee, by the general assignment, would have the benefit of the resulting term of fourteen years more. Such a contingent right in the author himself, will pass by the general assignment of all his interest in the copy-right.b *But if the *384 author died before the expiration of the period entitling him to a renewal, his personal representatives, and not the assignee, were entitled to the renewal.c The language of the act of congress, giving the right of renewal, in the case of the author's death, to his widow

· Act of Congress, February 3d, 1831, ch. 16. sec. 15, 16. The act of congress of Feb. 15th, 1819, ch. 19, gave to the circuit courts original cognizance, as well in equity as at law, of all suits and controversies, arising under any law of the United States, granting or confirming to authors or inventors the exclusive right to their writings or discoveries ; and with authority on bilis in equity to grant injunctions, according to the course and principles of courts of equity, to prevent the violation of the rights of authors or inventors.

b Carnan v. Bowles, 2 Bro. C. C. 80. By act of Congress of June 30th, 1834, instruments in writing for the transfer or assignment of copy-rights, are to be proved or acknowledged, as deeds for the conveyance of land are, and are to be recorded in the office where the original copy-right is deposited and recorded. If not so recorded within sixty days after execution, they are to be deemed fraudulent and void against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for valuable consideration without notice.

Petersdorff's Abr. vol. vi. p. 565.

and children, would seem to require the same construction, and to have intended a personal benefit to the widow and children. The statute speaks of the widow and children in a restrictive sense as a descriptio personarum ; and it says that they shall be entitled to the renewal of the copy-right, on complying with certain terms.a

The justice and policy of securing to ingenious and learned men the profit of their discoveries and intellectual labour, were very ably stated by the court of K. B. in the great case of Miller v. Taylor. The constitution and laws of the United States contain the declared sense of this country in favour of some reasonable provision for the security of their productions. The former law of congress afforded only a scanty and inadequate protection, and did not rise to a level with the liberal spirit of the age. But the recent statute has made liberal amends, and redeemed the government of our country from the reproach to which it had been exposed. Lord Camden once declaimed against literary property. “Glory,” said he," is the reward of science, and those who deserve it scorn all meaner views. It was not for gain that Bacon, Newton, Milton and Locke instructed and delighted the world." In answer to this it may be said, that the most illustrious writers in every branch of science, within the last half century, have reaped a comfortable support as well as immortal fame, from the fruits of their pen. The experiment in Great Britain has proved the utility, as

* In the case of the Rev. John Pierpont, in the U. S. Circuit Court for Massachusetts, in 1847, having assigned his copy-right to his book, The Reader, renewed the copy-right at the expiration of the 14 years, and the assignee continuing to publish the book as his own, the court, (Judge Woodbury) held that the author, by selling the copy-right, sold only the right then existing, and that the subsequent copy-right so renewed, belonged to the original author, and the assignee was decreed to accouut for his subsequent sales.

well as the justice, of securing a liberal recompense to intellectual labour; and the prospect of gain has not been found, in the case of such men as Robertson, or Gibbon, or Sir Walter Scott, either to extinguish the ardour of genius, or abate the love of true glory.

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LECTURE XXXVII.

OF TITLE TO PERSONAL PROPERTY BY TRANSFER BY

ACT OF LAW.

Goods and chattels may change owners by act of law, in the cases of forfeiture, succession, marriage, judgment, insolvency and intestacy. Those of succession and marriage have already been considered, and I shall now confine myself to the other means of acquiring title to chattels by act of law.

1. By forfeiture.

The title of government to goods by forfeiture, as a punishment for crimes, is confined, in New-York, to the case of treason. The right, so far as it exists in this country, depends, probably, upon local statute law; and the tendency of public opinion has been to condemn forfeiture of property, at least in cases of felony, as being an unnecessary and hard punishment of the felon's posterity. Every person convicted of any manner of treason, under the laws of New York, forfeits his goods and chattels, and also his lands and tenements, during his life-time; but the rights of all third persons, existing at the time of the

commission of the treason, are saved. Forfeiture of *386 property for crimes in any other case, is expressly *abo

N. Y. Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 284, sec. 1, 2; vol. ii. p. 656. sec. 3. It is made the duty of the attorney-general, to recover, by ejectment, real estate eschealed to the people of the state of New-York, or forfeited upon any conviction or outlawry for treason. Ibid. vol. i. p. 283, 284. There is a similar statute provision in some of the other states.

lished.a And even the attainder of treason does not extend to corrupt the blood of the offender, or to forfeit the dower of his wife.b The forfeiture in treason as to real estate, related, at common law, back to the time of the treason committed; and, therefore, all alienations and incumbrances by the traitor, between the time of the offence and the conviction, were avoided; but the forfeiture of his goods and chattels related only to the time of the conviction, and all sales made in good faith, and without fraud, before conviction, were good.c

Forfeiture of estate, and corruption of blood, under the laws of the United States, and including cases of treason, are abolished. Forfeiture of property, in cases of treason and felony, was a part of the common law, and must exist at this day in the jurisprudence of those states where it has not been abolished by their constitutions, or by statute.e Several of the state constitutions have provided that no attainder of treason or felony shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate, except during the life of the offender, f and some of them have taken away the power of forfeiture absolutely, without any such exception.s There are other state constitutions which impliedly admit the existence or propriety of the power of forfeiture, by taking away the right of forfeiture

· N. Y. Revised Statutes, vol. ii. p. 701. sec. 22.

6 Ibid. vol. i. p. 742. sec. 16. Ibid. vol. i. p. 282. Ibid. vol. ii. p. 701, sec. 22. Thid. vol. ii. p. 98. sec. 81.

2 Hawk. P. C. b. 2. ch. 49. sec. 30. 4 Blacks. Com. 380. In the case of custom-house seizures for forfeiture of goods, the title of the government relates back to the time of the forfeiture. Ocean Ins. Co. v. Polleys, 13 Peters' Rep. 157.

Laws of U. S. April 20th, 1790, ch. 9. sec. 24.

• In Massachusetts, as lands under their charter were held as of the manor of East-Greenwich, the customs of gavel-kind were so far applied to the tenure, as not to subject the lands to forseiture for treason or felony. Hutch. Hist. vol. i. p. 447.

i Constitutions of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Kentucky.

5 Constitutions of Connecticut, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

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