"Securing" the Prophet's Copyright in the Book of Mormon: Historical and Legal Context for the So-called Canadian Copyright Revelation

Title

"Securing" the Prophet's Copyright in the Book of Mormon: Historical and Legal Context for the So-called Canadian Copyright Revelation

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2011

Authors

Journal

BYU Studies Quarterly

Pagination

5-70

Volume

50

Issue

2

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Ehat, Stephen Kent. ""Securing" the Prophet's Copyright in the Book of Mormon: Historical and Legal Context for the So-called Canadian Copyright Revelation" In BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol. 50. 2011:5-70.

Abstract

The 2009 publication of the Manuscript Revelation Books as part of the Joseph Smith Papers makes available, for the first time, the text of a revelation received in 1829 or 1830 by the Prophet Joseph Smith on securing the copyright of the Book of Mormon in all the world and selling a copyright for its publication in the four then-existing provinces of Canada. This revelation, commonly referred to as the Canadian copyright revelation, designated four of Joseph’s associates to travel to Kingston, Upper Canada, to sell a copyright of the Book of Mormon. A group did travel to Kingston, but they were unsuccessful in finding a purchaser. Stephen Ehat’s study explores where the revelation was received, the dating of both the revelation and the group’s journey to Canada, the location of the four men mentioned in the revelation when it was given, the meaning in the revelation of the phrases “securing the copyright” and “sell a copyright,” the state of both U.S. and Canadian copyright law in 1830, the financial need that likely led to the revelation, and the reason Joseph’s messengers were sent specifically to Kingston.

Table of Contents

Journal

BYU Studies 50/2 (2011)

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