Kant: On the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1785)

Source: Retrospektive Digitalisierung wissenschaftlicher Rezensionsorgane und Literaturzeitschriften des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem deutschen Sprachraum, http://www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/diglib/aufklaerung/index.htm.

Citation:
Kant: On the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1785), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 1 of 15 total




(403)


Of the Injustice Of Counterfeiting Books


            Those who consider the publication of a book as the exertion of one's
ownership to a copy of it (irrespective of whether the latter came into its
owner's possession as a manuscript from the author or as a transcript of it from
an already existing edition), and then, nevertheless, by reserving certain rights
(whether these be those of the author or of the editor appointed by him), intend
to limit its use to the extent that it is to be forbidden to reprint it, will
never attain their purpose in such a way. For the author's ownership to his
thoughts (assuming in the first place that such ownership applies according to
external rights) remains his in spite of any reprinting; and, since an explicit
agreement of the buyers of a book to such a restriction of their ownership cannot
justly take place*,


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* Would a publisher risk binding everyone who purchased his publication to the
condition that they may be accused of having embezzled someone else's property
entrusted to them, if it so happens that the copy they have bought is, either
deliberately on their part or perhaps through negligence, used

    



( 403 )


Von der Unrechtmäßigkeit des
Büchernachdrucks.

      Diejenigen, welche den Verlag eines Buchs als
den Gebrauch des Eigenthums an einem Exemplare
(es mag nun als Manuscript vom Verfasser, oder als
Abdruck desselben von einem schon vorhandenen
Verleger auf den Besitzer gekommen sein) ansehen
und alsdann doch durch den Vorbehalt gewisser Rechte,
es sei des Verfassers, oder des von ihm eingesetzten
Verlegers, den Gebrauch noch dahin einschränken
wollen, daß es unerlaubt sei, es nachzudrucken, -
können damit niemals zum Zwecke kommen. Denn das
Eigenthum des Verfassers an seinen Gedanken (wenn
man gleich einräumt, dass ein solches nach äußern
Rechten statt finde) bleibt ihm ungeachtet des
Nachdrucks; und da nicht einmal füglich eine
ausdrückliche Einwilligung der Käufer eines Buchs
zu einer solchen Einschränkung ihres Eigenthums
statt finden kann*)


____________________

*) Würde es wohl ein Verleger wagen, jeden bei
dem Ankaufe seines Verlagswerks an die Bedingung
zu binden, wegen Veruntreuung eines fremden ihm
anvertrauten Guts angeklagt zu werden, wenn mit
seinem Vorsatz, oder auch durch seine
Unvorsichtigkeit das Exemplar, das er verkauft,


    

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK