The Albion
New York: 31 December 1858


  ...COPYRIGHT-TRANSLATIONSβ€”"Uncle Tom."β€”In the District Court sitting in Philadelphia, on Saturday last, Judge Grier delivered an opinion in opposition to an application by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe to restrain F. W. Thomas from publishing a German translation of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Mrs. Stowe alleging that it was an infringement of her copyright. The Judge contended that a translation from one language into another was no transgression upon the right of copy, and those were only called pirates upon the property vested in a copyright who print of publish copies of another's book without license. The Judge says that Uncle Tom and Topsy, the creations of the genius and imagination of Mrs. Stowe, are as much public property as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and may be used and abused by translators, imitators, playrights, and poets, with as much freedom as they would the English translation of the Holy Bible. He says a translation may be called a transcript or copy of her thoughts, but in no sense can it be called a copy of her book. Mrs. Stowe's bill was therefore dismissed, and the lady required to pay the costs.β€”N. Y. Herald.