Commentary on:
Report of François Hell to the National Assembly (1791)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: f_1791a


Commentary on François Hell report

Frédéric Rideau

Faculty of Law, University of Poitiers, France


Please cite as:

Rideau, F. (2019) ‘Commentary on François Hell report and projet de décret (1791)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. References


1. Full title

Report to the National Assembly, by Mr. Hell, Deputy of the Bas-Rhin, on the property of scientific and literary productions


2. Abstract

Following complaints from the book trade in 1790 and 1791, François Hell, deputy (of the National Assembly) for the Bas-Rhin, and member of the Committee on Agriculture and Commerce, was charged with elaborating a new “scientific” and literary property report and bill (“projet de décret”), a task which would also be submitted to the consultation of the Committee on the Constitution. The final report had been printed by the National Assembly, but it appears that it did not reach the floor for further discussion or debates in 1791. The commentary argues that, although this proposal has eventually raised less attention among historians than the Sieyès attempt to regulate circulation of books (f_1790), it remains essential in that it enshrined literary property in terms which were also directly affiliated to the last main literary property debates of the Ancien Régime, including, to some extents, the solutions adopted by the 1777 decrees (f_1777a).


3. References

full commentary available online March/May 2019 (editing by Dr Elena Cooper)



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