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Bluntschli: On Authors' Rights (1853)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

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Identifier: d_1853a

 

J.C. Bluntschli: 'On Authors' Rights' (Munich, 1853)

Friedemann Kawohl

School of Finance & Law, Bournemouth University, UK

 

Please cite as:
Kawohl, F. (2008) ‘Commentary on J.C. Bluntschli, "On Authors' Rights" (Munich, 1853)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

 

1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. References

 

1. Full title

"On Authors' Rights" = Ch. 6 in vol.1 of J.C. Bluntschli, German Private Law (2 vols, 1853-54)

 

2. Abstract

This chapter is the most extensive discussion of intellectual property by the famous Swiss jurist Johann Caspar Bluntschli (1808-1881).[1] His earlier contributions in this field included the respective paragraphs in a draft for a Code Civil for the Canton of Zurich[2] and a review[3] of treatises by Renouard[4], Jolly[5], Muquardt[6] and Villefort[7]. Bluntschli's concept of a "natural relationship" between author and work "just as between creator and creature" foreshadows the focus on the author's "intellectual and personal relationship with his work"[8] as defined in contemporary German copyright. The "work" is regarded as a "revelation and expression" of the author's "personal intellect",[9] whereas the "property value" (Vermögenswert) is a secondary aspect. Reprinting, even if no financial loss is caused, constitutes a "violation of the author's rights, since no one has the right to make the author speak to the public against his will, that is, to expose a part of his personality, his name, and his reputation as an author to the community". Bluntschli's approach to author's rights is regarded as one of the main sources of the personalistic[10] view on intellectual property which developed within the German tradition.

 

3. References

 

Books and articles [in alphabetical order] 

Bluntschli, J.C., Erster Entwurf des privatrechtlichen Gesetzbuches für den Kanton Zürich, vol. 1 (Personen-, Familien- u. Erbrecht) (Zurich: Orell, Füßli & Co., 1844), 17f. (§ 73-88). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/books/"109404"

_____., "Das sogenannte Schrifteigenthum, das Autorrecht", Kritische Ueberschau der deutschen Gesetzgebung und Rechtswissenschaft 1 (1853): 1-26. Available online at:

<http://dlib-zs.mpier.mpg.de/mj/kleioc/0010/exec/bigpage/"2084739_01%2b1853_0011"

Dölemeyer B. and D. Klippel, "Der Beitrag der deutschen Rechtswissenschaft zur Theorie des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes und Urheberrechts", in F-K. Beier, A. Kraft, G. Schricker, E. Wadle (eds), Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht (Weinheim: VCH, 1991),185-240 

Jänich, V., Geistiges Eigentum (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 

Jolly, J., Die Lehre vom Nachdruck: Nach den Beschlüssen des deutschen Bundes (Heidelberg: Mohr, 1852). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/books/"154929"

Meyer von Knonau, G., Art. "Bluntschli", Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, vol. 47 (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1903). Available online at:

<http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/bsb00008405/images/index.html?seite=31

Muquardt, Ch., Das literarische Eigenthumsrecht, der Nachdruck und das Wesen der Presse in Beziehung auf Journal- und Bücher-Literatur (Brussels, Leipzig, Gent: Muquardt, 1851). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/bigpage/"175789_00000001"

Renouard, A.-C., Traité des droits d'auteur, dans la littérature, les sciences et les beaux-arts (2 vols, 1838-1839) 

Villefort, A., De la propriété littéraire et artistique au point de vue international: Aperçu sur les législations étrangères et sur les traités relatifs à la répression de la contrefaçon (Paris: Cosse, 1851) 

Vogel, M., "Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht und Verlagsrecht im letzten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts", GRUR (= Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht) (1994): 587-593


[1] Bluntschli was a law professor in Zurich (1833-1848), Munich (1848-1861), and Heidelberg (1861). For biographic details, see Gerold Meyer von Knonau, Art. "Bluntschli", in  Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, vol. 47, (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1903). Available online at:

<http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/bsb00008405/images/index.html?seite=31>

[2] Johann Caspar Bluntschli, Erster Entwurf des privatrechtlichen Gesetzbuches für den Kanton Zürich, vol. 1 (Personen-, Familien- u. Erbrecht) (Zurich: Orell, Füßli & Co., 1844), 17f. (§ 73-88). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/books/"109404">

[3] Johann Caspar Bluntschli, "Das sogenannte Schrifteigenthum, das Autorrecht", Kritische Ueberschau der deutschen Gesetzgebung und Rechtswissenschaft 1 (1853): 1-26. Available online at:

<http://dlib-zs.mpier.mpg.de/mj/kleioc/0010/exec/bigpage/"2084739_01%2b1853_0011">.

On Bluntschli's review of Renouard, see Volker Jänich, Geistiges Eigentum (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 86.

[4] Augustin-Charles Renouard, Traité des droits d'auteur, dans la littérature, les sciences et les beaux-arts (2 vols, 1838-1839).

[5] Julius Jolly, Die Lehre vom Nachdruck : Nach d. Beschlüssen d. deutschen Bundes (Heidelberg: Mohr, 1852). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/books/"154929">

[6] Charles Muquardt, Das literarische Eigenthumsrecht, der Nachdruck und das Wesen der Presse in Beziehung auf Journal- und Bücher-Literatur (Brussels, Leipzig, Gent: Muquardt, 1851). Available online at:

<http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de/m/kleioc/0010/exec/bigpage/"175789_00000001">

[7] Alfred Villefort, De la propriété littéraire et artistique au point de vue international: Aperçu sur les législations étrangères et sur les traités relatifs à la répression de la contrefaçon (Paris: Cosse, 1851).

[8] German Copyright Act 1965, § 11: "Copyright shall protect the author with respect to his intellectual and personal relationship with his work, and also with respect to the utilization of his work." ("Das Urheberrecht schützt den Urheber in seinen geistigen und persönlichen Beziehungen zum Werk und in der Nutzung des Werkes"). The translation provided by the WIPO is here quoted from the digital archive of Oxford University Comparative Law Forum, available online at: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/UrhG.htm#11

[9] p. 192 (im. 9) of d_1853a.

[10] Barbara Dölemeyer and Diethelm Klippel, "Der Beitrag der deutschen Rechtswissenschaft zur Theorie des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes und Urheberrechts". in Friedrich-Karl Beier, Alfons Kraft, Gerhard Schricker, and Elmar Wadle (eds), Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht (Weinheim: VCH, 1991), 185-240; and Martin Vogel, "Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht und Verlagsrecht im letzten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts", GRUR  (1994), 587-593.


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