D. F. Frydrychowski (@ThisInHaste), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has published Late Nineteenth Century Common Law Intellectual Property and the Theatrical Productions of Parsifal and Our American Cousin. Here is the abstract.
Throughout the nineteenth century, the doctrine of limited-publication common-law copyright allowed American courts to protect works not eligible for the protections of the statutory scheme. This paper examines some of the leading cases of the time, including the litigation surrounding Our American Cousin and Parsifal. In closing, the paper suggests that the Metropolitan Opera's initial production of Parsifal was legitimated by a curious publication decision by the work's German publisher.Download the article from SSRN at the link.