James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Noah Webster, 28 December 1802

To Noah Webster

Department of State 28 December 1802.


I enclose a certificate, that the first volume of “Elements of useful knowledge” has been deposited in this office.1 Such certificates in the nature of receipts have sometimes been transmitted, but are not made requisite by law: and it is very doubtful whether, in any form, they would answer the purpose you suggest, on a suit for a breach of copy right.

The mistake supposed by you to have been made in the law of the last session respecting copy right is not real.2 That law admits of the certificate of the Clerk of the District being printed on the back of the title page or the next succeeding page, on either of which it is certainly practicable to do it. I am, &ca.

James Madison.

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