Commentary on:
Memorandum on the dispute between the Parisian and the provincial booksellers (1690s)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: f_1690s


Commentary on the opposition between Parisian and Provincial boosellers (1690s)

Frédéric Rideau

Faculty of Law, University of Poitiers, France


Please cite as:

Rideau, F. (2019) ‘Commentary on the memorandum on the dispute which has arisen between the booksellers of Paris and those of Lyon (1690s)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. References


1. Full title

Memorandum on the dispute which has arisen between the booksellers of Paris and those of Lyon, regarding the privileges and extensions of these which the King grants for the printing of books


2. Abstract

Following the serious weakening of the public domain entailed by the royal decrees and regulations of 1665 and 1686, this memorandum was one of the first examples, if not the first, from the Parisian booksellers to describe the right of exploitation safeguarded by privileges in terms of private property. In this perspective, it certainly anticipated in some respects the 1725 famous plea of the Parisian guild by Louis d’Héricourt, since book trade privileges became explicitly regarded essentially as a legitimate means to secure the personal labour of authors and booksellers contractually invested in the publication of a literary work. The commentary describes the background to this mémoire, at a crucial time – the second half of the seventeenth century – when “modern” liberal ideas developed under the Louis XIV absolute monarchy, and the consecutive rhetorical precautions, not to say equivocations or contradictions, as to the type of labours supposed to justify, or even transform, book trade privileges. .


3. References

full commentary available online soon (editing by Dr Elena Cooper - 2019)

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