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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsChristian Science - BOOK II - Chapter VII - COPYRIGHT
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Christian Science - BOOK II - Chapter VII - COPYRIGHT Post by :jtmjr21218 Category :Nonfictions Author :Mark Twain Date :April 2011 Read :2567

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Christian Science - BOOK II - Chapter VII - COPYRIGHT

I can understand why Mrs. Eddy copyrighted the early editions and
revisions of Science and Health, and why she had a mania for copyrighting
every scrap of every sort that came from her pen in those jejune days
when to be in print probably seemed a wonderful distinction to her in her
provincial obscurity, but why she should continue this delirium in these
days of her godship and her far-spread fame, I cannot explain to myself.
And particularly as regards Science and Health. She knows, now, that
that Annex is going to live for many centuries; and so, what good is a
fleeting forty-two-year copyright going to do it?

Now a perpetual copyright would be quite another matter. I would like to
give her a hint. Let her strike for a perpetual copyright on that book.
There is precedent for it. There is one book in the world which bears
the charmed life of perpetual copyright (a fact not known to twenty
people in the world). By a hardy perversion of privilege on the part of
the lawmaking power the Bible has perpetual copyright in Great Britain.
There is no justification for it in fairness, and no explanation of it
except that the Church is strong enough there to have its way, right or
wrong. The recent Revised Version enjoys perpetual copyright, too--a
stronger precedent, even, than the other one.

Now, then, what is the Annex but a Revised Version itself? Which of
course it is--Lord's Prayer and all. With that pair of formidable
British precedents to proceed upon, what Congress of ours--

But how short-sighted I am. Mrs. Eddy has thought of it long ago. She
thinks of everything. She knows she has only to keep her copyright of
1902 alive through its first stage of twenty-eight years, and perpetuity
is assured. A Christian Science Congress will reign in the Capitol then.
She probably attaches small value to the first edition (1875). Although
it was a Revelation from on high, it was slim, lank, incomplete, padded
with bales of refuse rags, and puffs from lassoed celebrities to fill it
out, an uncreditable book, a book easily sparable, a book not to be
mentioned in the same year with the sleek, fat, concise, compact,
compressed, and competent Annex of to-day, in its dainty flexible covers,
gilt--edges, rounded corners, twin screw, spiral twist, compensation
balance, Testament-counterfeit, and all that; a book just born to curl up
on the hymn-book-shelf in church and look just too sweet and holy for
anything. Yes, I see now what she was copyrighting that child for.

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