The subject of the [literary] property is a written composition; and that one written composition may be distinguished from another, is a truth too evident to be much argued upon. Every man has a mode of combining and expressing his ideas peculiar to himself. The same doctrines, the same opinions, never come from two persons, or even from the same person at different times, cloathed wholly in the same language. A strong resemblance of stile, of sentiment, of plan and disposition, will be frequently found; but there is such an infinite variety in the modes of thinking and writing, as well as in the extent and connection of ideas, as in the use and arrangement of words, that a literary work really original, like the human face,

original author

will always have some singularities, some lines, some features, to characterize it, and to fix and establish its identity . . . . (Francis Hargrave, Argument in Defence of Literary Property [London 1774]; see Rose)