This is the first copyright act in the world, the British Statute of Anne, from 1710.
of this Act, the Defendants in such Action may Plead the General Issue, and give the Special Matter in Evidence; and if upon such Action a Verdict be given for the Defendant, or the Plaintiff become Nonsuited, or Discontinue his Action, then the Defendant shall have and recover his full Costs, for which he shall have the same Remedy as a Defendant in any case by Law hath.
Provided, That nothing in this Act contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, either to Prejudice or Confirm any Right that the said Universities, or any of them, or any Person or Persons have, or claim to have, to the Printing or Reprinting any Book or Copy already Printed, or hereafter to be Printed.
Provided nevertheless, That all Actions, Suits, Bills, Indictments, or Informations for any Offence that shall be Committed against this Act, shall be Brought, Sued, and Commenced within Three Months next after such Offence Committed, or else the same shall be Void and of none Effect.
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