Since I recently promoted three of world's free ebooks (two of which are amongst the most famous), I started thinking about copyright protection. It was part of the research I did for that article, where I looked into how authors had suffered when battling publishers for rights to their books.
Apart from the pitfalls of online publishing, I also stumbled upon some real-life curses used in the past to deter people from stealing or defacing books!!
It was hilarious, and I couldn't help highlighting a few here for you to read:
Should anyone by craft of any device whatever abstract this book from this place may his soul suffer, in retribution for what he has done, and may his name be erased from the book of the living and not recorded among the Blessed.
--attributed to a 16th-century French missal belonging to a man named Robert
Thys boke is one--found in various Middle English books.
And Godes kors ys anoder;
They take the ton,
God gefe them the toder.
[This book is one (thing),
And God's curse is another;
They that take the one,
God gives them the other.]
For more great "Don't Steal Me" lines, check out http://gotmedieval.blogspot.com/2010/08/medieval-copy-protection.html
Most of these quotes come from the this book, the motherlode: Anathema!: Medieval scribes and the history of book curses