Bluntschli: On Authors' Rights, Munich (1853)

Source: Scanned from a copy held in the Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte.

Bluntschli: On Authors' Rights, Munich (1853), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
On Authors' Rights, chapter 6 of 'German Private Law' Vol. I

Full title original language:
'Vom Autorrecht' Kapitel 6 aus 'Deutsches Privatrecht'

This chapter is the most extensive discussion of intellectual property by the famous Swiss jurist Johann Caspar Bluntschli (1808-1881). His earlier contributions in this field included the respective paragraphs in a draft for a Code Civil for the Canton of Zurich and a review of treatises by Renouard, Jolly, Muquardt and Villefort. Bluntschli's concept of a 'natural relationship' between author and work 'just as between creator and creature' foreshadows the focus on the author's 'intellectual and personal relationship with his work' as defined in contemporary German copyright. The 'work' is regarded as a 'revelation and expression' of the author's 'personal intellect', whereas the 'property value' (Vermögenswert) is a secondary aspect. Reprinting, even if no financial loss is caused, constitutes a 'violation of the author's rights, since no one has the right to make the author speak to the public against his will, that is, to expose a part of his personality, his name, and his reputation as an author to the community'. Bluntschli's approach to author's rights is regarded as one of the main sources of the personalistic view on intellectual property which developed within the German tradition.

1 Commentary:

  • Vogel, Martin, 'Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht und Verlagsrecht im letzten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts', 'GRUR' (= 'Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht') (1994): 587-593

  • Jänich, Volker, 'Geistiges Eigentum' (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002)

Related documents in this database:

Author: Johann Kaspar Bluntschli

Publisher: Literarisch-artistische Anstalt

Year: 1853

Location: Munich

Language: German

Source: Scanned from a copy held in the Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte.

Persons referred to:
Bluntschli, Johann Kaspar
Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl
Grimm, Wilhelm Carl
Guyot, Pierre Jean Jacques Guillaume
Jolly, Julius
Kant, Immanuel
Laboulaye, Édouard René de
Merlin, Philippe-Antoine
Mittermaier, Karl Joseph Anton von
Pardessus, Jean-Marie
Renouard, Augustin-Charles

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
House of Lords
Nuremberg City Senate

Bavarian Copyright Act 1840
Copyright Act, 1814, 54 Geo.III, c.156
Directive of reciprocal protection within the German Confederation (1837)
German federal directive (22 April 1841), on performance rights
International Copyright Act, 1838, 1 & 2 Vict., c.59
International Copyright Act, 1844, 7 & 8 Vict., c.12
Parisian Book Trade Regulations 1618
Prussian Copyright Act 1837
Statute of Anne, 1710, 8 Anne, c.19
U.S. Copyright Act 1831, 21st Cong., 2d Sess., 4 Stat. 436

anonymous works
applied art, protected subject matter
author/publisher relations
authorship, joint or collaborative
authorship, legal concept of
authorship, romantic concept of
authorship, theory of
books, protected subject matter
dramatic works, protected subject matter
dramatico-musical works, protected subject matter
drawings, protected subject matter
duration, post mortem term
editions, new
engravings, protected subject matter
excluded subject matter
maps, protected subject matter
moral rights, divulgation (first publication)
music, protected subject matter
oral works, protected subject matter
paintings, protected subject matter
penalties, paid to author(s)
penalties, paid to fiscal authorities
penalties, paid to publisher(s)
personality theory
property theory
public domain
public performance
scholarly writing
sculpture, protected subject matter
unpublished works

Responsible editor: Friedemann Kawohl

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