"Copyright is the Cinderella of the law. Her rich older sisters, franchises and patents, long crowded her into the chimney-corner. Suddenly fairy godmother Invention endowed her with mechanical and electrical devices as magical as the pumpkin coach and the mice footmen. Now she swirls through the mad mazes of a glamorous ball."

In the early history of the industrialization of the world, the legal tools of franchises, patents and trade-marks were all the rage, leaving copyright law a distant third in the minds of intellectual property lawyers.

But this began to change by the end of the 1900s and now, to take the word of some experts, copyright has overtaken them all in economic importance.

Professor Zechariah Chafee (1898-1957) called copyright the Cinderella of the law when he wrote on the then-burgeoning subject, for the Columbia Law Review in 1945

Professor Chafee was known to call out the old bastions of the law when from time to time, he would publish an article with a provocative title.


  • Chafee, Zechariah, "Reflections on the Law of Copyright", 45 Columbia Law Review 503 (1945).

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