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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

Controlling the unauthorized use of private writings has for centuries challenged the ingenuity o/courts and legislatures. Beginning in England in the seventeenth century and continuing through the recent revision of the federal copyright laws, several different approaches have been taken to protect the letters and diaries of private persons. The author traces the historical development of these various strategies to demonstrate that none evidence a realistic appreciation of the unique issues associated with private writings. Following this analysis, the author concludes with a proposed amendment to the federal copyright statute that would better protect authors of private writings.

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