Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Copyright Stamp Mystery

A daily must read for me (and my cats) is the UK IPkat blog. They have the wittiest stories and the greatest pictures. They have posted a mystery and perhaps readers and/or their felines on this side of the pond can help solve it. Here it is:

Copyright stamp mystery

The IPKat's knowledge of all things connected with intellectual property is legendary, but it is probably based on the fact that, unlike most cats, the Kat has four brains and numerous degrees and qualifications. However, there are still many things of which the IPKat has to confess his woeful ignorance, and in such a circumstance he is very happy to draw on the combined knowledge and intelligence of his readers.

Recently the IPKat received an email from his friend Nadine Eriksson-Smith (Administrator, AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, School of Law, University of Edinburgh). It reads, in relevant part:

"In the back of my World Classics edition of Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae there is what appears to be some kind of copyright stamp. My collegues here are unsure of the function of this. The novel was first published in 1889 and the edition I have was published in 1936, after Stevenson's death in 1894. Any ideas as to what the stamp is for are most welcome".
The stamp is handsomely illustrated, above, right. The easy answer is to say that the stamp is there to raise money and it looks as though it may be something to do with author's royalties - but the IPKat feels that more explanation is needed and calls on his scholarly readers to help him answer Nadine's query. If you know anything about this stamp, can you please post the answer as a Comment below?

More on The Master of Ballantrae here
More on Robert Louis Stevenson here
More on Ballantrae here


Unknown said...

A quick search found a site (maintained by Steve Trussel) which has a page (written by Adam Miller) devoted to R.L. Stevenson Copyright Stamps:


Hope this helps!

William Patry said...

Thanks, Rick, great investigative work.

Pierre - A Cat From France said...

Thanks for pointing out the UK IPKat Blog. I like the pictures of the cats. The cats that live with you, and maybe you yourself, should read The Cat Gergiev for news about cats such as up-to-date information and
commentary on the Menu Foods cat food recall. You will learn about Catism and that the FDA refuses to investigate cat deaths. The cats, and maybe yourself, will find it fur (or hair) raising.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rick, very good detective work indeed.