Fichte: Proof of the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1793)

Source: Berlinische Monatschrift (1793), 443-482

Fichte: Proof of the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1793), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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legality and the other the utility of
reprinting. Regarding the former he claims
that no one has yet demonstrated that a
writer - or his representative, the
legal publisher - has a right to
prohibit reprinting on the basis
solely of his perpetual property in his book,
hence that the authority to
reprint would naturally follow. Consequently
the question of whether reprinting should
be allowed in civil states after being
rejected in the court of perfect justice
would depend on the answer to the further
question of whether it was a useful practice.
Mr. Reimarus answers the latter question
affirmatively, and thus the former as well.
At the same time, however, he does also
suggest a number of restrictions on the
general permissibility of reprinting which
favor the author and his legal publisher.
      Mr. Reimarus - for admittedly we
did not consider it necessary to check the
authors he cites in support of his position,
since we naturally could assume that he used
their arguments and that the most recent
defense of the position, namely his, would be
the most convincing - Mr. Reimarus, then, has


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