From the article “dictionary” in Encyclopedia Britannica online – my emphasis:

The corporation records of Boston, Lincolnshire, have the following entry for the year 1578: That a dictionarye shall be bought for the scollers of the Free Scoole, and the same boke to be tyed in a cheyne, and set upon a deske in the scoole, whereunto any scoller may have accesse, as occasion shall serve.

Notice that the town hall or something similar cares about the education of the children that grow and orders to get them all a dictionary, so they may have accesse to it, but to tye it in cheyne.

This is not really the same kind of rights management as the modern DRM, because it isn’t done to prevent copying, but probably to prevent the stealing of the physical book, which is understandable. But it is funny to see that it is tied to a chain whereunto any schooler may have access, much like in the title of the excellent soviet movie “Welcome, or No Trespassing“.


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