The Company of Booksellers was an 18th century Dublin-based collective formed, probably in 1762, to aid in cooperation and the exchange of books among booksellers. This fellowship was intended to share both risk and profit in the publishing industry in Ireland. Since the predominant share of the Irish book trade at that time was the vigorous piracy of books published in England, the anonymity of its members also appears to have been an essential feature of the organization. Following the 1800 absorption of Ireland into the United Kingdom - and the consequent application of the Copyright Act to Irish publishing - Irish booksellers decamped en masse to the United States. Many set up shop in Philadelphia where, in 1802, a Philadelphia Company of Booksellers would form.