by Steve Reiss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Noah Webster, of dictionary fame, was one of the first to write a bill for the American patent system. On Apri116, 1789, he wrote what he called a federal copyright bill, a combined patent and copyright bill. A committee was appointed to draft a general law. On June 23, 1789, House Bill 10, a printed document of 11 pages, was presented as a combined federal copyright and patent bill. After much argument, this bill was defeated.
The Copyright Act of 1831 was the first major statutory revision of U.S. copyright law, a result of intensive lobbying by Noah Webster and his agents in Congress.
Webster also played a critical role lobbying individual states
throughout the country during the 1780s to pass the first American
copyright laws, which were expected to have distinct nationalistic
implications for the infant nation. <from wikipedia>.