for years, until one day a discourteous reprinter
decided to seize upon
One of these unholy figures was Alexander Donaldson, an Edinburgh reprinter
of English editions, whose cheap and unauthorized productions made him guilty of book piracy in the eyes of the publishing establishment.
Because the author always has (and cannot relinquish) her "naked property," the reprinter
can only appropriate the use and profits (usus et fructus) stemming from that property.
For every unscrupulous reprinter
, there is a greedy monopolist; for every robber, a robber baron: piracy is in the eye of the beholder.
Shall we say, George Faulkner (identified above); Matthew Carey, founder of America's first publishing house, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, which celebrated its bicentennial in 1985; and Patrick Byrne, the quintessential Dublin-Philadelphia reprinter
of English writers.
To bring some measure of regulation and propriety to these practices, publishers began to observe "what they called a `courtesy copyright,' in which the American reprinter
[of a work first published abroad] had sole rights if he was the first to produce a book in this country.
It's being produced again--along with the Navy's excellent old brick, concrete, and foundry manuals--by Lindsay Publications, the quirky reprinter
of technical manuals from times gone by.