Historical Figure & Event

The Statute of Anne, an influential copyright law, went into effect in 1710.

April 10
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

Often considered to be the first true copyright law, the Statute of Anne drastically changed how copyright worked in Great Britain by naming the author, rather than the publisher, as the holder of the copyright. Later, this law had great influence on emerging U.S. copyright laws. In fact, the first U.S. copyright law began with "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning" —words taken directly from the Statute of Anne.

Classroom Activity

Create a students' copyright guide as a handy reference for classroom work or the library.

  • First, form small groups to conduct web research on copyright issues. Assign groups topics, such as the types of copyright protected works, fair use, court cases, public domain works, and so on. Students can use the interactive Notetaker to help them organize their research findings.
  • After students have finished their research, have each group compile their information into a page for the class booklet, by visiting the Printing Press tool and selecting the "flyer" option.

  • Collect each group's work and create a booklet. Be sure to create a table of contents and index for the guide, as well as a cover page. Keep a copy of the guide in the library and near photocopying machines.

  • You might also want to reproduce the guide and distribute a copy to each student.


This site offers teachers information on copyright issues, including a list of links to online copyright references.


This website provides resources for children, as well as parents and teachers. Included are copyright basics, a quiz, and more.


This series on copyright law and the fair use exceptions is aimed at teachers and covers things such as applying the law to new technologies and district liability.


This student interactive, from CyberBee, answers many questions students may have about intellectual property rights and fair use.


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