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Bilateral Treaty between Prussia and Britain (1846)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: d_1846


Commentary on the copyright convention between Prussia and Britain (1846)

Friedemann Kawohl

Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Bournemouth University, UK


Please cite as:
Kawohl, F. (2008) ‘Commentary on the Anglo-Prussian copyright convention of 1846', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. Diplomatic efforts and the extensions of UK copyright as preconditions to the treaty

4. The economic background of the Convention

5. Translations on the German book market

6. Copyright protection of translations from the late eighteenth century up to the Amendment of 1855

7. References



1. Full title

Convention of 13 May 1846 between Prussia and Great Britain regarding international copyright, together with the amendment of 14 June 1855, as published in the Code of Law of the Grand Duchy of Hessen on the occasion of the latter's accession to the treaty on 31 December 1861


2. Abstract

The Convention between Prussia and Great Britain was the second international copyright treaty involving a state from the German Confederation after the treaty between Austria and Sardinia (d_1840). British nationals were granted full Prussian copyright for works published in Great Britain and vice versa, provided that the specified formalities were complied with: Prussian nationals had to register their works with the London copyright register at Stationers' Hall. In Prussia, whose native subjects did not have to fulfil any formalities in order to enjoy copyright for books and works of music, a special register account was opened and administered by the Ministry for Religious, Educational, and Medical Affairs[1] to register the books which British subjects wanted to be protected in Prussia. An accession clause was provided (Article 8) for members of the German Customs Union.[2] In this way the Kingdom of Saxony[3] and several other smaller states,[4] such as the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt were able to sign up to the Convention subsequently. The commentary focuses on the international exchange of books protection given for translations, as included in the Amendment of 1855.


3. Diplomatic efforts and the extensions of UK copyright as preconditions to the treaty

The legal basis for the 1846 Convention had been laid down in both states a couple of years earlier. Paragraph 38 of the Prussian Copyright Act of 1837 (d_1837) had generally acknowledged copyrights of foreigners from states that protected works by Prussian subjects to the same degree as provided by the Act of 1837. And the British International Copyright Act of 31 July 1838 (uk_1838) had been designed so that Queen Victoria could grant copyright protection to authors of literary works first published abroad.[5] An early attempt, however, was doomed to failure:

"Following the passage of [the Act], there was some delay before the Board of Trade mobilized itself and sent a copy of the Act to the Foreign Office with the suggestion that overtures be made to France, Prussia, Austria, Saxony, and the United States... In its turn, the Foreign Office procrastinated but by early March 1839 diplomatic representatives were contacted and urged to consider treaty negotiations. A complicated series of exchanges then took place with the German states, especially Prussia, but in the end the British Government was reluctant to accept the Prussian terms." [6]

Negotiations with Prussia had begun even earlier in the mid-1830s, but as Sherman and Bently point out, the Prussian government decided in 1840 to break off these negotiations because, as was observed in the records of the Foreign Office in London,

"[Prussia] considered the reciprocity which was contemplated by [the International Copyright Act] to be only an apparent reciprocity"[7]

The protection provided by the Prussian Copyright Act of 1837 was regarded as offering greater security on three levels. As the resident British ambassador to Prussia, John Fane, the Earl of Westmorland (1784-1859),[8] noted on 25 January 1843, Prussian copyright was extended "to a much greater variety of objects than in England"[9] and "over a much longer period". Furthermore the "means of redress in cases of infraction of copyright were much more easily attained" and higher duties were imposed on books imported to Britain than were charged on those imported to Prussia.


It was again the Earl of Westmorland who reported in 1843 to the Prussian government that the law in the U.K. had "undergone important changes which will have the effect of materially increasing the protection at present enjoyed in England by literary property,"[10] and that, as a consequence of the 1842 Copyright Law Amendment Act, which for the first time in British legislation provided a post mortem auctoris (p.m.a.) term the British Government had the satisfaction

"to intimate to the Prussian Government that a change to British law has taken place which will have the effect of materially extending the protection at present enjoyed by literary property, as to terms of duration."[11]

Also, the Prussian complaint that the scope of protected subject matter was too narrow, was invalidated when the U.K. International Copyright Act of 1844 extended the category of works protected to include fine arts and music, despite the fact that at that time the fine arts were not protected under domestic British legislation. Sherman and Bently make a tentative suggestion about the impact which these bilateral negotiations with Prussia may have had on the development of British domestic copyright law:

"Although the Foreign Office constantly intimated that the changes which had taken place in British law had come about in order to appease Prussian objections, it is difficult to determine the extent to which this was actually the case. Nonetheless it is clear that Prussian objections played a role in alerting the Foreign Office and in turn the Board of Trade and Parliament to deficiencies in domestic law as well as offering alternatives for change."[12]


It is not yet clear whether the British Parliament was aware of the consequences that the treaty would have on imports and exports of books and other printed material. Prussian publishers, anyway, had high expectations about the beneficial effect of the Convention.


4. The economic background of the Convention

While the supporters of the 1838 international copyright bill in the U.K. Parliament acted on the assumption that a reciprocity treaty with France would redound to Britain's advantage,[13] the economic benefits of a treaty with Prussia were not that clear. German authors, on the other hand, did expect that the overall outcome of such a treaty would be advantageous for the national economy.


German printing firms, in particular, reckoned that English publishers would start having their books printed in Prussia, where production costs were noticeably lower than in Britain. As Adolf Asher (1800-1853), a Berlin publisher and bookseller who had subsidiaries in St. Petersburg and London, indicated in an article for the Börsenblatt (the specialist journal of the German book trade), an edition of 500 copies of an "elegant brochure of 5 sheets" would cost 23 pounds sterling and 13 shillings in London, amounting to some 160 thaler, whereas in Berlin the publisher would only have to pay 61 thaler for that edition.[14]


German editions of British authors, like the highly successful series Library of British Authors that was initiated in 1841 by the Leipzig-based publisher Christian Bernhard Tauchnitz (1816-1895), were produced so cheaply that Tauchnitz, for example, was able to offer British authors a small compensation in 1843, even before the Convention had been agreed on.[15] Most pirate editions of English books on the German market were in fact not of German provenance, but came, rather, from the press of the Parisian publishers Jean Antoine Galignani (1796-1873) and his brother Guillaume (1798-1882).[16]


Furthermore, German music prints had often been reprinted in England in the past, whereas if a Convention between the two countries were to come into force, it was argued that

"German music publishers will not only have their copyright protected in England, but they will also be able to export to that country their editions of those operas which have become European public property at a much cheaper cost than would be the case for the French and Italian publishers of the same works."[17]


In addition to that, the Convention was expected to be advantageous to German graphic artists, who would then be entitled to have their originals copied in England, where "the more technical art of copper and steel engraving is at a higher level than in our country."[18] Another argument brought forward was that German literature was comparatively young, and many classical German authors were still under copyright until 1867 (see the commentary on d_1837b) making disadvantages for German publishers unlikely. Even if it was accepted as an

"irrefutable fact that in England far less people can understand and read German than is the case with English in Germany, and any reprinting of German books that might take place in Great Britain is scarcely worth mentioning,"[19]

the reprints of German scholarly editions of Greek and Roman authors in England was estimated as considerably exceeding the number of German reprints of equivalent English editions. According to Adolf Asher's calculations:

"less than 300 thaler in total would be sufficient to get hold of a copy of each reprint edition of an English copyright book that has appeared in Germany in the course of this century so far; in contrast, after an admittedly rather cursory inspection of the very incomplete London Catalogue, one can see that over the last twenty-five years (starting from 1814) the following unaltered re-impressions, that is reprints of German publications have appeared in London alone: [there follows a list of German scholarly editions of classical authors from Aeschylus to Xenophon - FK.] A quick glance through this list, which, as we have said, is incomplete, demonstrates that one copy of each of the listed works would amount to approximately 540 thaler - that is, a sum which in just a quarter of a century is already almost twice [the retail value] of German reprints of English books." [20]

Asher gives an interesting account of the relevance of imports of German books to England at that time, even though the use of his data as a convincing argument for the advantageous effects which the Convention would have on the Prussian economy is somewhat limited by the fact that he did not take into account the number of copies published.


Since neither Prussian or British national legislation nor the Convention granted any exclusive rights for scholarly editions of classical authors, the only advantage that German publishers of these editions could expect from the treaty was a substantial reduction in the British import duties, which clearly made the importing of cheaply produced German editions an even more lucrative business. Import duties had always been an important factor which the German publishers had to reckon with when exporting their publications. Whereas British import duties on German books had once amounted to some 2.5-5 pounds sterling per hundredweight (Zentner), after the Convention they were now fixed at the substantially lower level of 15 shillings per hundredweight. This was, however, still ten times higher than the Prussian Customs Union's tariff of 15 silver groschen per hundredweight. Britain's need to maintain high import duties was explained by reference to the United Kingdom's contractual obligation towards the USA, whereby it had to grant the latter every trade advantage that other nations trading with England received, i.e. what is nowadays referred to as ‘most favoured nation' status:

"The United States, however, whose people speaks one and the same language as England, and where the costs of paper and printing are even lower than here in Germany, would inundate that country with editions of all English authors who are no longer under copyright, if the English publishers were not protected by higher import tariffs."[21]


5. Translations on the German book market

Even though there was a substantial market for English and French original literature in Germany, the demand for translations, particularly of works of fiction, was huge.[22] The translation industry, with its very cheap editions of authors such as Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), whose works were available in no less than seven competing editions of "collected works" in Germany, [23] contributed substantially to the general boom of the book industry in the 1820s. The share of translations on the German book market had fallen from a peak of 7.1 % of the total book production in 1775 to a minimum of 2.6 in 1805, before growing again from 11 % of all novels in 1820, 20 % in 1830, 37 % in 1840, to a new and unprecedented peak of 50 % of all novels in 1850.[24] For the 1820s Norbert Bachleitner has estimated that among novels there were roughly as many translations from the English as there were from the French, whereas the market for dramatic literature was clearly dominated by translations of French originals.


Not having any exclusive rights to their translations, the German publishers of bestselling foreign authors made desperate efforts to be the first in the market. A translation of Scott‘s The Pirate (1821) was published six weeks after the original in Leipzig by the publishing house of Christian Ernst Kollmann (1792-1855). The Fortunes of Nigel (1822) was translated within no more than two weeks, whereas Peveril of the Peak (1823) and St Ronan's Well (1823) were published in German even before the original versions appeared in Edinburgh![25] No wonder that this practice led to criticisms about the inaccuracy and slovenliness of the translations:

"What a disgraceful abuse is perpetrated by the German book trade and translating profession on the splendid novels of Sir Walter Scott! - As soon as one of these novels has come out, there you will see two or three or four of our booksellers standing with their royalty-edged dog-whips and gilded spurs behind their ever so quick translators; and whoever is the fastest, is the one who gets paid the most - in other words, the most conscientious will just end up getting a raw deal"[26]

Willhelm Hauff (1802-1827) satirically described the "translation factory" of Scheerau, a small Saxonian village near Meißen, where "every day fifteen printer's sheets of text are translated and sent off to the press immediately"[27] and "everything is done mechanically."[28] A steam engine was even being developed which "understood French, English and German, so that soon there will be no need for any human input at all."[29] Until that machine was ready, though, manpower was still indispensable, but it had to be utilised as efficiently as possible by differentiation of labour:

"On the first floor you'll find the translation establishment. As you go in, you first pass through two large rooms, in each one of which fifteen persons are working. Every morning at eight o'clock each one of them is handed half a printer's sheet of Sir Walter Scott, which he is expected to have translated by three in the afternoon. That is what they refer to as ‘roughing out' work. In this way fifteen printer's sheets get translated every morning. At three o'clock these fellows are treated to a good lunch. And at four each one of them is again given another half printer's sheet which has to be read through and corrected. [...] Right next to these large rooms are four smaller ones. In each one of these you'll find a stylist sitting at his desk together with his secretary. The stylists are those who go through the translations done by the thirty and polish up all the rough bits and edges - they are appointed to improve the style. A stylist earns two thaler per day, but he has to deduct his secretary's wages from this salary. Seven or eight of the ‘rough-hewers' are allocated to each stylist: as soon as they have written a page, it is sent to the stylist. He then holds a copy of the English original in his hand, has the secretary read out to him what has been translated, and makes corrections here and there to individual phrases. In a fifth room are two poetic workers who translate into German verse the epigraphs at the top of the chapters and any poems that appear in the text."[30]

Cheap translations of English originals were seen as a constant threat for the market potential of German authors. However, it was not only the price that made translations attractive to German readers, but also their literary quality, as was argued in the 1850s:

"Our German public reads Dickens and Thackeray, Sue and Dumas not because they are Englishmen and Frenchmen, nor does it leave the German novels unread just because they are German: rather, people pick up books by the aforementioned authors because they are entertaining, because they will find real life mirrored in them, because these novels confront them with interesting characters, mighty passions, and riveting plots - and they throw aside the latter books because they are boring, or in the best of cases because their idiom and the things they are concerned with are either incomprehensible to the majority of the public, or are of no interest to it."[31]


6. Copyright protection of translations from the late eighteenth century up to the Amendment of 1855

Apart from printing privileges that could sometimes cover translations (e.g. the Imperial privilege for Eucharius Rösslin),[32] it was Saxony which, in 1773, became the first of the German states to offer a general form of protection against competing translations. The provision that a Saxonian publisher could receive protection against rivals by registering his translation in the records of the Leipzig Books' Commission, was included in the Electorate's Statutes on the book trade at the request of Phillip Erasmus Reich (1717-1787), who was acting on behalf of several publishers from Leipzig.[33] The Statutes of 1773 originally required that the translation should already be published, but Section 4 of the additional "Regulation, on how the register kept by the Book Commission is to be arranged" specified that:

"4) In the case of translations, the publisher who applies first to be registered with the Book Commission is to have precedence. He must, however, provide the public with a complete translation within a year at most (or, in the case of large works, with at least a part of it) as explained in the above warning. Moreover, every publisher must see to it that the translations he brings out are of a good quality. If upon examination a published translation is found to be poor and inaccurate, this will be taken seriously with the result that another publisher may well be given permission to bring out an improved translation".[34]

The protection term of ten years for Saxon publishers was renewable and could thus in principle last indefinitely. Saxon copyright, however, did not acknowledge any right on the part of the author or publisher of the original work. Reich, who carefully observed the book market abroad, frequently succeeded in securing monopolies for his translations before anyone else, and thus incurred the envy and wrath of his colleagues.[35] The translation monopoly, however, was revoked by the Saxon Mandate of 10 August, 1812, at a time when the publication of translations had hit rock bottom.


The principle that publishers were free to bring out translations without the consent of the original author was generally acknowledged by eighteenth-century jurists, such as Thurneysen[36] and Pütter, who regarded translations as belonging to

"that kind of works which everyone is freely entitled to produce and publish, without it being possible for one person to claim a prerogative over another, insofar as he is not empowered to do so by a special privilege"[37]

Entering the details of a translation in the Saxonian Book Commission's records was regarded as equivalent to such a privilege. (Only Martin Ehlers (1731-1800) wanted to restrict the right of translation as a consequence of his conviction that intellectual property covered both the form and the ideas expressed in a work.[38]) Likewise, many early nineteenth-century copyright laws did explicitly acknowledge the general freedom to publish translations.[39]


The Prussian Copyright Act of 1837 was the first to invest authors with an exclusive right to translations of their works under certain conditions:

a) if the translation was one into German of a work whose author had originally written and published it in an extinct language;

b) if the author of a book published it in several modern languages at the same time; or

c) If the author announced on the title-page of the first edition his intention to bring out a translation of his work into a specific language, then this translation, as long as it appeared within two years from the publication of the original work.[40]

Given that France was the country with the biggest trade surplus of cultural goods during the early and mid-nineteenth century, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that the French International Copyright Act of 1852 (f_1852) was the first to be based on the principle of universal jurisdiction,[41] thus granting authors a general exclusive right to their translations irrespective of the country in which the original was first published.


The 1855 Amendment to the Convention between Prussia and Great Britain expanded the two states' reciprocal protection for translations. It was modelled on Articles 2-4 of the Convention of 16 August 1853 between Hamburg and Great Britain (see d_1853). Article 3 provided protection for the author of a translation to the same degree as it did for the author of an original work. In Article 4, however, the copyright holders of the original work were invested with an exclusive right for translations of that work for a five year term under certain conditions: the original work had be registered within three months of the first publication (Art. 3.1); the reservation had to be notified on the title-page (Art.3.2); the licensed translation, or at least part of it, had to be published within a year, and the whole work within three years (Art. 3.3); and the translation also had to be registered (Art. 3.4). For dramatic works the conditions were even stricter: the licensed translation had to be published within just three months in order to qualify for protection (Art. 4). The explanatory statement for the latter restriction can be applied to the whole Amendment as such:

"It is understood, that the protection stipulated by the present Article is not intended to prohibit fair imitations, or adaptations of dramatic works on the stage in Prussia and England respectively, but is only meant to prevent piratical translations." (p. 12)

The freedom of making "fair imitations, or adaptations" was only to be restricted when the translation was "piratical", i.e. when the unlicensed translation was a "word-for-word" reprint. Likewise, in Article 2 any claims by translators so as to exclude other translations were dismissed:

"the intention ... is simply to protect a translator in respect to his own translation ... and ... not ... to confer upon the first translator of any work the exclusive right of translating that work"

Even though Hamburg concluded a similar treaty with Great Britain already in 1853, the 1855 Amendment to the Convention between Prussia and Great Britain was more important over the following decades. The Amendment was acceded to by all the states which had joined the German Customs Union, Saxony being the only member of the latter to stipulate a specific exemption in order to guarantee the freedom of trade at the Leipzig book fair. The Saxonian Ordinance of 5 December 1855 for the implementation of the Amendment restricted the author's right of Article 3 to the publication of a reprint in Saxony, thus allowing the sale in Saxony of reprints which came from third countries. A similar restriction was introduced into the copyright treaty of 19 May 1856 between Saxony and France.[42]


7. References


Bachleitner, N., "'Übersetzungsfabriken': Das deutsche Übersetzungswesen in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts", Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte (IASL) 14/1 (1989): 1-49. Available online at:
Barnes, J.J., Authors, Publishers and Politicians: The Quest for an Anglo-American Copyright Agreement 1815-1854 (London: Routledge, 1974)

Cornish, W. R., "Technology and Territoriality: A new Confrontation for Intellectual Property", in Brücken für die Rechtsvergleichung (=Festschrift für Hans G. Leser zum 70. Geburtstag), ed. by O. Werner, P. Häberle, Z. Kitagawa, and I. Saenger (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 1998)

Enslin, A., Über internationale Verlagsverträge mit besonderer Beziehung auf Deutschland (Berlin: Enslin 1855)

Deazley, R. "Commentary on the International Copyright Act of 1838", in: Primary Sources on Copyright (2008), ed. by L. Bently and M. Kretschmer (see uk_1838)

Hauff, W., "Die Bücher und die Lesewelt", in Sämmtliche Werke (Brodhag: Stuttgart, 1837), 1: 101.

Hartwieg U., "Nachdruck oder Aufklärung? Die Verbreitung englischer Literatur durch den Verlag Anton von Kleins am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts", Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 50 (1998): 1-145

L[***]., J., "Der preußisch-englische Vertrag über gegenseitigen Schutz des Autor= und Verlagsrechts", Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes, 123 (1846): 491-492, 496-498

Peinze, A., Internationales Urheberrecht in Deutschland und England (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2001)

Pütter, J.S., Der Büchernachdruck nach ächten Grundsätzen des Rechts (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1774). See d_1774

Schürmann, A., Der Rechtsschutz gegen Übersetzungen (Leipzig: Schürmann 1860), repr. in UFITA 130 (1996): 113-161

Sherman, B. and Bently, L. The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law (Cambridge: Cambridge UP: 1999)

Vogel, M., "Die Entfaltung des Übersetzungsrechts im deutschen Urheberrecht des 19. Jahrhunderts", Buchhandelsgeschichte (1991): 61-72

Wächter, O., Das Verlagsrecht (Stuttgart: Cotta 1857). See d_1857

Wächter, O., "Schutz der Autoren gegen Übersetzungen", Deutsche Vierteljahr-Schrift (1855): 278-327

[1] Ministerium der Geistlichen, Unterrichts- und Medizinal-Angelegenheiten

[2] Cf. the commentary on d_1837b.

[3] On 13 May 1846, as published on 27 August of that year in Gesetzes- und Verordnungsblatt für das Königreich Sachsen (1846): 185-198. The Amendment was implemented by the Saxon Ordinance of 5 December 1855, coming into force on 1 April 1856. It was published in Gesetzes- und Verordnungsblatt für das Königreich Sachsen (1855): 648 ff. See Oscar von Wächter, Verlagsrecht (1857), 44, available online at d_1857.

[4] Listed in the preamble of the Amendment (p.9 of d_1846b).

[5] See Ronan Deazley's commentary for uk_1838.

[6] James J. Barnes, Authors, Publishers and Politicians: The Quest for an Anglo-American Copyright Agreement 1815-1854 (London: Routledge, 1974), 117.

[7] FO/64/242, quoted in Brad Sherman and Lionel Bently, The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law (Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1999), 116.

[8] John Fane, the 11th Earl of Westmorland, who served as British Minister to Prussia from 1841 to 1851, was a music enthusiast and composer. His works were performed quite often in Berlin - however, as the music critic and publisher Carl Gaillard (1813-1851) suggested, not because of their musical quality, but, rather, because Westmorland "entertains his guests lavishly and has a first-rate wine-cellar" ["eine gute Tafel führt und einen vorzüglichen Weinkeller besitzt"]. Quoted in Signale für die musikalische Welt 1 (1843), 209. In that very year - 1843 - Westmorland became the dedicatee of an edition of Donizetti‘s L'elisir d'amore, published by Heinrich Schlesinger (1814-1893) who had suceeded his father, the late Adolph Martin Schlesinger (1769-1838) as head of the favmous Berlin publishing house. The dedication read: "L'Elisir d'amore di Donizetti, Opera buffa in due Atti, Partizione completa con parole italiane e tedesche dedicata al compositore del Torneo, L'Eroe di Lancastro, la Fedra etc. Conte di Westmorland". According to Gaillard, though, Donizetti's Milanese publisher Giovanni Ricordi (1785-1853) and the Vienna-based Pietro Mechetti (1777- 1850) claimed that Schlesinger's edition had been pirated from theirs. Furthermore, Carl Gaillard identified a moral right issue, and called it "a tremendous act of presumption and an indisputable encroachment on the author's right, if a publisher dedicates the work of a living artist to a third party just like that, and, what is more, in a manner that makes everyone believe that the author himself had made the dedication." ["eine ungeheure Anmaßung, und ein unbestreitbarer Eingriff in das Autorrecht, wenn ein Verleger das Werk eines lebenden Künstlers ohne Umstände einem Dritten zueignet, und in einer Form, unter der Jeder glauben muß, daß von dem Verfasser die Widmung ausginge"] Gaillard (1843), 276. This sharp critic suggested that the dedication had been inspired by Schlesinger's hopes of ingratiating himself with the Earl: "Everyone can easily imagine the motives of the dedication" ["Ein jeder kann sich die Motive der Widmung abziehen"] (ibid.) However, in view of the Earl of Westmorland's apparently quite active role in paving the way to the Convention of 1846, Schlesinger may also have wanted to honour his services to the Prussian music and book trade.

[9] Earl of Westmorland, 25 January 1843, FO/64/244, quoted in Sherman and Bently (1999), 116.

[10] FO/64/244, Quoted ibid.

[11] FO/64/241, Quoted ibid.

[12] Sherman and Bently (1999), 116.

[13] As Richard Monckton Milnes put it : "[D]oubted the possibility of its operation ... because, by any such agreement as it proposed, we should be greatly the gainers ... Everybody knew that the circulation of English books in France was much more extensive than that of French books in England, and it was very unlikely, therefore, that any such agreement, an agreement which, would, undoubtedly be most unpopular with the book trade in Paris, would be entered into by the French government. " [52] Hansard, 3rd Ser., 41 (1838): 1099-1100; see also the remarks of Sir Robert Inglis (ibid., 1101) and Viscount Mahon (ibid., 1102-03), quoted in Ronan Deazley's commentary for uk_1838.

[14] "elegante Broschüre von 5 Bogen in einer Auflage von 35500 Exemplaren", in: J.L. "Der preußisch-englische Vertrag über gegenseitigen Schutz des Autor= und Verlagsrechts", Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes No 123 (1846), 492.

[15] Barnes (1974), 133.

[16] Ibid.

[17] "Deutsche Musikalienverleger werden nicht nur in ihrem Verlagsrecht in England geschützt seyn, sondern auch ihre Ausgaben solcher Opern, die europäisches Gemeingut geworden, zu einem viel niedrigeren Prels dort einführen können, als französische und italiänische Verleger derselben Werke", J.L. (1846), 496.

[18] "wo die mehr technische Kunst des Kupfer- und Stahlstichs auf einer höheren Sufe steht als bei uns", J.L. (1846), 496.

[19] "unwiderlegbare Tatsache [...], daß in England bei weitem weniger Deutsch verstanden und gelesen werde, als in Deutschland Englisch, und daß von einem Nachdrucke d e u t s c h e r Bücher in Großbrittannien kaum die Rede sein war.", ibid.

[20] "daß weniger als 300 Taler netto hinreichen werden, um sich ein Exemplar jedes im Laufe dieses Jahrhunderts in Deutschland erschienenen Nachdrucks englischer Bücher (auf welchen noch ein Verlagsrecht haftet) anschaffen zu können; dagegen sind nach einer nur sehr flüchtigen Durchsicht des sehr mangelhaften London Catalogue in London allein in den 25 Jahren von 1814 folgende unveränderte Ab- also Nachdrücke deutscher Verlagswerke erschienen: [...] Ein flüchtiger Überblick dieser wie gesagt mangelhaften Liste wird ergeben, daß ein Exemplar der angeführten Werke etwa 540 Taler betragen würde, also schon in einem Vierteljahrhundert beinahe das Doppelte des deutschen Nachdrucks englischer Bücher.", ibid.

[21] "Die Vereinigten Staaten aber, die mit England eine und dieselbe Sprache sprechen und in denen Papier und Druck noch viel billiger als in Deutschland sind, würden jenes Land mit Ausgaben aller englischen Schriftsteller, auf die kein Verlagsrecht mehr besteht, überschwemmen, wenn die englischen Pressen nicht durch einen höhern Zoll geschützt wären", J.L. (1846), 492.

[22] On pirate editions of English translations on the German market at the beginning of the nineteenth century, see Ursula Hartwieg, "Nachdruck oder Aufklärung? Die Verbreitung englischer Literatur durch den Verlag Anton von Kleins am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts", Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 50 (1998): 1-145.

[23] Norbert Bachleitner, "'Übersetzungsfabriken': Das deutsche Übersetzungswesen in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts", Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte (IASL) 14/1 (1989): 1-49 (7). Available online at:

[24] Cf. the detailed tables in Bachleitner (1989), 4f.

[25] Bachleitner (1989), 9.

[26] "Welch schändlichen Mißbrauch treiben der deutsche Buchhandel und die deutsche Übersetzerinnung [d.h. Übersetzer Innung - F.K. ] mit den trefflichen Romanen [Sir Walter Scotts - F.K.]! - Kaum ist einer da, so stehn ein, zwei, drei, vier Buchändler mit honorirenden Hetzpeitschen und goldenen Stacheln hinter ihren allzeit fertigen Übersetzern, und wer der schnellste ist, der wird am besten bezahlt, also der gewissenhafteste am schlechtesten.", Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung (1823), 23, quoted in Bachleiter (1989), 7.

[27] "wo täglich fünfzehn Bogen übersetzt und sogleich gedruckt werden". Wilhelm Hauff, "Die Bücher und die Lesewelt", in Sämmtliche Werke (Brodhag: Stuttgart, 1837), 1: 101.

[28] "wird alles mechanisch betrieben", ibid.

[29] "die Französisch, Englisch und Deutsch versteht; dann braucht man gar keine Menschen mehr", ibid.

[30] "Im ersten Stock ist die Übersetzungsanstalt. Man kommt zuerst in zwei Säle; in jedem derselben arbeiten fünfzehn Menschen. Jedem wird morgens acht Uhr ein halber Bogen von Walter Scott vorgelegt, welchen er bis Mittag drei Uhr übersetzt haben muß. Das nennt man dort »aus dem Groben arbeiten.« Fünfzehn Bogen werden auf diese Art jeden Morgen übersetzt. Um drei Uhr bekommen diese Leute ein gutes Mittagsbrot. Um vier Uhr wird jedem wieder ein halber Bogen gedruckte Übersetzung vorgelegt, die durchgesehen und korrigiert werden muß. [...] An die zwei Säle stoßen vier kleine Zimmer. In jedem sitzt ein Stilist und sein Sekretär; Stilisten nennt man dort nämlich diejenigen, welche die Übersetzungen der dreißig durchgehen und aus dem Groben ins Feine arbeiten; sie haben das Amt, den Stil zu verbessern. Ein solcher Stilist verdient täglich zwei Taler, muß aber seinen Sekretär davon bezahlen. Je sieben bis acht Grobarbeiter sind einem Stilisten zugeteilt; sobald sie eine Seite geschrieben haben, wird sie dem Stilisten geschickt. Er hat das englische Exemplar in der Hand, läßt sich vom Sekretär das Übersetzte vorlesen und verbessert hier oder dort die Perioden. In einem fünften Zimmer sind zwei poetische Arbeiter, welche die Mottos über den Kapiteln und die im Texte vorkommenden Gedichte in deutsche Verse übersetzen.", ibid.

[31] "Unser Publicum liest die Dickens und Thackeray, die Sue und Dumas nicht deshalb, weil sie Engländer und Franzosen sind, noch läßt es die deutschen Romane ungelesen, weil es deutsche: sondern es liest die einen, weil sie unterhaltend sind, weil es das Leben der Wirklichkeit darin abgespiegelt findet, weil interessante Charaktere, mächtige Leidenschaften, spannende Verwicklungen ihm daraus entgegentreten - und wirft die andern bei Seite, weil sie langweilig sind oder doch wenigstens eine Sprache reden und von Dingen handeln, die das Publicum im Großen entweder nicht versteht oder für die es sich nicht interessiert." Robert Prutz, Die deutsche Literatur der Gegenwart 1848-1858 (Leipzig1859), 2: 74, quoted in Bachleitner (1989), 2.

[32] Cf. d_1513.

[33] Martin Vogel, "Die Entfaltung des Übersetzungsrechts im deutschen Urheberrecht des 19. Jahrhunderts", Buchhandelsgeschichte (1991): 61 with reference to August Schürmann, Die Entwicklung des deutschen Buchhandels zum Stande der Gegenwart (Halle: Waisenhaus 1880), 71.

[34] d_1773, p.8.

[35] Vogel (1991), 62.

[36] Johann R. Thurneysen, Dissertatio juridica inauguralis de recusione librorum furtiva. Zu Teutsch Dem unerlaubten Bücher-Nachdruck (Basel: Thurneysen 1738). See d_1738, p.8.

[37] "zu denen Werken gerechnet, die ein jeder aus natürlicher Freyheit verfertigen und verlegen kann, ohne daß der eine vor dem anderen einen Vorzug behaupten darf, sofern er nicht durch ein Privilegium dazu berechigt ist.". Pütter, J.S. Der Büchernachdruck nach ächten Grundsätzen des Rechts (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1774) 82f. See d_1774.

[38] Martin Ehlers, Ueber die Unzulässigkeit des Büchernachdrucks nach dem natürlichen Zwangsrecht (Dessau: Buchhandlung der Gelehrten, 1784), 89f., quoted in Vogel (1991), 70.

[39] Vogel (1991), 64, with reference to the Copyright Acts of Württemberg (1815), Saxe-Altenburg (1827), Anhalt-Köthen (1828), Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1828), Saxe-Meiningen-Hildburghausen (1829) and Hamburg (1847).

[40] Prussian Copyright Act of 1837 § 4. See d_1837a, p.3.

[41] The principle of universal jurisdiction was implemented in the Montevideo Treaty of 1889, Art. 2: "Authors of a literary or artistic work and their successors shall enjoy in the Signatory States the rights granted to such authors by the law of the State in which the publication or production first took place". Here quoted from:⟨=fb&from=1&to=31.

Most other treaties and national jurisdictions are based on the principle of territoriality. Cf. William R. Cornish, "Technology and Territoriality: A new Confrontation for Intellectual Property", in Brücken für die Rechtsvergleichung (= Festschrift für Hans G. Leser zum 70. Geburtstag), ed. by

Olaf Werner, Peter Häberle, Zentaro Kitagawa, Ingo Saenger (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 1998); and Alexander Peinze, Internationales Urheberrecht in Deutschland und England (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2001).

[42] Wächter (1857), 44 and 755.

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