Luneau de Boisjermain's case, Paris (1770)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n°10

Luneau de Boisjermain's case, Paris (1770), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Jugement rendu par M. de Sartine, Chevalier, Conseiller d'Etat, Lieutenant Général de Police de la Ville, Prévôté & Vicomté de Paris, Commissaire du Conseil en cette partie, Entre le Sieur Luneau de Boisjermain, Et les Syndic & Adjoints de la Librairie & Imprimerie de

Full title original language:

A few years before the decisive decrees of 1777, Pierre-Joseph Luneau de Boisjermain (1732-1801) showed that he belonged to that small minority of authors who insisted on fully exercising a literary property right which emanated from their creations. In this respect, he can be seen as picking up on an essential part of the arguments advanced by Louis d'Héricourt and Diderot, whereby the specific labour carried out by the author served as the fundamental source of a right of exploitation. Rightly determined not to relinquish to the Parisian booksellers the exclusive rights of which he was a beneficiary, Luneau de Boisjermain in 1768 arranged for several boxes of his works to be sent to five book traders in Paris, so that these in their turn could deliver them to booksellers in the provinces who were willing to sell his books. The other Parisian booksellers were annoyed and troubled by the liberty thus taken by an author, and accused Luneau of 'meddling in the book trade', in direct violation of Art. 4 of the 1723 Code de la Librairie. On these grounds they thus thought legitimate to proceed to the confiscation of these books. This confrontation and the subsequent annulment of the confiscation order by the ruling of 1770 would bring to the fore, in an atmosphere of increasing tension between the Parisian and provincial guilds, the whole question of an author being able to directly exercise property rights on his work. Similarly, the ruling in this case anticipated the very specific statute which would soon be enacted in favour of authors in the decrees of 30 August 1777.

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Related documents in this database:
1770: Avis aux gens de lettres

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1770

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n°10

Persons referred to:
Delalain, Nicolas-Augustin, Sr.
Despilly, Jean-Baptiste
Louis XV
Luneau de Boisjermain, Pierre-Joseph-Francois
Racine, Jean
Sartine, Antoine de
Savoye, Etienne François
Tilliard, Nicolas-Martin

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:
Luneau de Boisjermain v. Parisian Guild of Booksellers (1678-1679)

Institutions referred to:
Chambre syndicale des libraires et imprimeurs (Paris)
Parisian Guild of Booksellers and Printers

Code de la Librairie 1723
Parisian Book Trade Regulations 1686

authors, self-publishing
barter trade
penalties, paid to author(s)
privileges, French

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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