Company ordinances of 1562 provided that members had to both obtain from the Wardens a licence to print any work not protected by Royal Grant and enter that licence in the Company’s register. The Stationers’ Register became the written record to which disputes regarding the ownership of copy could be referred. Succeeding copyright legislation confirmed Stationers’ Hall as the place where the right to copy should be entered.
The Copyright Act 1911 abolished the need for registration at Stationers’ Hall and in December 1923 the registers were closed.
In the following year the Company established a new Registry, in which books and fine arts could be entered for the purpose of creating a record for use in case of infringement of copyright. The Registry was closed to new registrations in February 2000.
Anyone interested in registering new work should contact either their bank or a solicitor.