The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1827 Tuesday, 3 September 2002
Date: Tuesday, 03 Sep 2002 09:45:48 +0000
Subject: The Transfer of 'copy rights' in the Stationers' Register.
I was wondering whether anyone could broaden my knowledge on the
practice of the transfer of publishing rights to 'play bookes' in the
Stationers' Register from the 1590s and onwards. How often is a playbook
published/printed by the initial authority listed in the SR, and how
often do rights get transferred onto other printer/publishers. I know
the well-respected printer Roberts is a case in hand with the
Chamberlain's/King's Men. I believe he initially entered Hamlet, but Q1
was published by Simmes for Ling and Trundell. He was similarly involved
in 'staying' the plays Henry V, Much Ado, Every Man out of his Humour
and one other play to avoid immediate publication, but here too
transfers of rights seem to have happened and print took place.
My feeling is that transfers (and even unregistered transfers) were more
common than publication by the original filer, but I could be wrong.
Thanks in advance,
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