The study of colonialism shows us that the law often serves the needs and interests of both the Imperial power and the subjugated country. Concessions are necessary to rule a conquered population. In order to understand Canadian law and the measure of Imperial influence, one must understand the dialogue between the various legal traditions.
This essay will examine legal transplants in a historical and colonial context. It will begin with a brief review of Canadian history in order to understand the evolution of Canadian copyright law. It will focus on the creation and significance of Canada’s first copyright legislation. Using the Statute of Anne as a reference point, this essay will describe the evolution of Canadian copyright law on its journey to self-determination during the 18th and 19th centuries. More specifically, this essay will explore the influence of the 1709 Statute of Anne on the 1832 colonial Acte pour protéger la propriété intellectuelle.
It will argue that the influence of the Statute of Anne as an expression of the Canadianess of Canadian copyright policy is not to be found in the text of 1832. It can be found in the small prints of the numerous bills and amendments proposed to the English Parliament, in those provisions buried in the text which triggered an open war between Canadian, American and English publishers and stigmatized by the 1847 Foreign Reprints Act. It is in the context of the 1847 piece that the influence of the Statue of Anne and its monopolistic or imperialistic effects can be fully grasped