Commentary on:
Gaultier's memorandum for the provincial booksellers (1776)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: f_1776


Commentary on Gaultier's memorandum

Frédéric Rideau

Faculty of Law, University of Poitiers, France


Please cite as:

Rideau, F. (2010) ‘Commentary on Gaultier's memorandum for the provincial booksellers (1776)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. References


1. Full title

Memorandum for consultation by the Booksellers and Printers from Lyon, Rouen, Toulouse, Marseille, and Nisme, concerning book trade privileges and their prolongations


2. Abstract

This mémoire by the lawyer Gaultier (probably Jean-François Gaultier de Biauzat, the future delegate to the Estates General), published in 1776, in the thick of the 'battle of the booksellers', is one of the most famous vindications of the provincial booksellers, in particular those of Lyon and Rouen. It provided an answer for the last time, before the legislative decisions of 30 August 1777, to the arguments of the Parisian booksellers who ever since Louis d' Héricourt had been defending a (perpetual) literary property right of the author on his work. Describing the state of the book trade and the lobbying methods of the Parisian corporation in detail, Gaultier also presented a traditional vision of book trade privileges as the only source of exclusiveness for a published work. For the provincial booksellers, the latter did not comprise, by its creation process, sufficiently specific characteristics to truly differentiate it from the invention. Consequently, privileges which guaranteed exploitation to a publisher were to be as limited as those granted to inventors.


3. References

full commentary in preparation

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