When copyright walked the plank

Who knew? The humble Epsom salts your grandmother softened the bathwater with were the subject of a ferocious 18th-century trade battle between piratical purveyors of counterfeit salts and the manufacturer of the genuine article. And the wildly popular kaleidoscope, that “device for rational amusement,” new on the scene in 1817, was so brazenly pirated in the marketplace that its inventor could only deplore the uselessness of his patent.

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/review-piracy-by-adrian-jones/article1489379/