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June 2, 1894

The Difference between the Copyrights on Medical Books and the Patents on Mechanical Appliances.

JAMA. 1894;XXII(22):854. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421010032008

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Detroit, Mich., May, 1894.

To the Editor.  In the Medical News for May 19, our esteemed friend, Dr. Gould, states his view of the difference between the copyrighting of medical books and the patenting of mechanical appliances. Thus he says,"one is payment for instruction, while the other is tribute for permission to use a certain instrument."The fallacy of this statement is evident. Granted that the book instructs, does not the instrument also instruct? The buyer of the book pays for the brain work of the author, and in like manner the buyer of the mechanical appliance pays for the brain work of the inventor. If both are good articles they will both instruct the profession who use them. Both are teachers. Most medical books introduce into their pages the work of inventors of mechanical appliances, and even introduce cuts of the same. It is said that the book copyright

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