Saxonian Statute, Dresden (1773)

Source: Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden Hist.Sax.K.17.m-1,misc.32, Hist.Sax.K.17-9,misc.69

Saxonian Statute, Dresden (1773), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Friedrich August Elector of Saxony's Statute of 18 December 1773 and Regulation for the Register to be kept by the Book Commission in Leipzig

Full title original language:
Ihro Churfürstl. Durchl. zu Sachsen, etc. etc. Mandat den Buch=Handel betreffend. Ergangen de Dato Dresden, den 18. Decembris 1773

The Saxonian Statute of 1773 served the interests of the local book industry and the Leipzig fair as the main trading and reloading place for German books. A publisher from outside Saxony could benefit from the strict and effective measures against reprinting on condition that (1) he arranged for his book to be published by a Saxon printing office, and (2) he could prove 'that in his native country reciprocity is observed in this matter with regard to Our subjects' (im.1), the latter being a hurdle which at the time could only be met by publishers from Prussia, where a general ban on reprints had been decreed in 1766. It was explicitly laid down that no excuse was to be tolerated, such as the usual one to the effect 'that the reprinted copies were just being conveyed in transit' (im.5). A central figure in the drafting and issuing of the Statute was Johann Thomas Freiherr Fritsch (1700-1775), a civil servant notable for his role in the rebuilding of Saxony after the Seven Years' War (1756-63), whose signature is on the document. His father Thomas Fritsch (1666-1726) was one of the most important Leipzig-based publishers and booksellers of the early eighteenth century.

1 Commentary:

  • Gieseke, Ludwig, 'Vom Privileg zum Urheberrecht' (Baden-Baden: Nomos 1995)

Related documents in this database:
1724: Electoral Saxon Printing and Censorship Acts from 1549 to 1717
1765: Philipp Erasmus Reich and the Leipzig publishers' cartel

Author: Thomas Freyherr von Fritsch / Christian August Menius

Publisher: Chur= Fürstl. Sächs. privilegierte Hofdruckerey

Year: 1773

Location: Dresden

Language: German

Source: Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden Hist.Sax.K.17.m-1,misc.32, Hist.Sax.K.17-9,misc.69

Persons referred to:
Frederick August III
Fritsch, Thomas Freiherr von
Menius, Christian August

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Books Commission (Leipzig)
Church-Committee of Saxony
Leipzig fair

Saxonian Statute (1773), on regulation of the book trade
Saxonian Statute 1686

author/publisher relations
book fairs
book trade
penalties, paid to fiscal authorities
penalties, paid to publisher(s)
price regulation
privileges, Saxon
property theory, publishers' property
societies, publishers'
translation, right of

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