Crébillon case, Paris (1749)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22072 n°112

Crébillon case, Paris (1749), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: f_1749

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Full title:
Decree of the King's Council of State, in favour of M. de Crébillon, author of the tragedy of Catilina, which rules that the products of the intellect are in no way on a par with seizable effects. 21 March 1749.

Full title original language:
Arrest du Conseil d'Estat du Roy, en faveur du Sieur de Crébillon, Auteur de la tragédie de Catilina, Qui juge que les productions de l'Esprit ne sont point au rang des Effets Saisissables. Du 21 Mars 1749.

In the Crébillon case the King's Council of State ruled on 27 March, 1749, that the fruits accruing from literary works are not seizable. This decision has been interpreted by some as the recognition of the specific nature of the bond tying an author to his work, and indeed it does represent an important stage in the legal protection of the author's interests, in particular, those that have to do with the remuneration of his work. Nevertheless, despite the fact that this latter point was accepted at the time, one can clearly also see that Crébillon had to concentrate a significant part of his plea on how it was in the public's interest for authors not to be subject to such acts of seizure. There is no doubt that because of this a somewhat subtler interpretation of the Council of State's judgement in this case is called for.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:

Author: N/A

Publisher: Prault

Year: 1749

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22072 n°112

Persons referred to:
Codet, Sylvain
Crébillon, Prosper Jolyot de
Louis XV
Phélypeaux, Louis, Duc de La Vrillière
Prault, Laurent-François
Prault, Pierre

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Académie française
King's Council of State (France)


authors' remuneration
dramatic works, protected subject matter
penalties, paid to author(s)
property theory
property theory, authors' property
public performance

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