Royal Order on Dramatic Copyright , Madrid (1837)

Source: Archivo Histórico Nacional; AHN, Consejos, 11404, Exp. 026

Royal Order on Dramatic Copyright , Madrid (1837), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: s_1837a

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Full title:
Royal Order on the Representation of Dramatic Works

Full title original language:
Real orden de 5 de mayo de 1837 sobre obras dramáticas

The Royal Order of 1837 inaugurated a threshold of regulation in Spanish copyright law. By giving ownership control to dramatists, the order has been hailed as the birth of modern dramatic copyright law in Spain. Its promulgation also facilitated the development of copyright as a positive right. In fact, the Royal Order is an early episode in which we can perceive a very particular conceptualization of the author and his or her work; an iterative moment in which historians often tends to signal the emergence of the professional dramatic author.

1 Commentary:

  • Aguilera Sastre, J. “Manuel Bretón de los Herreros y las políticas teatrales de su época” in Muro, M. A., (coord.), La obra de Manuel Bretón de los Herreros: II Jornadas Bretonianas: Logroño, 2 al 5 de marzo de 1999 (Logroño, Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, 2000) pp. 117-139

  • Martín, G. C. “Derechos de autor y derechos de dramaturgo en la primera mitad del siglo XIX” in Vidal Tibbits, M. (coord.) Studies in Honor of Gilberto Paolini (Newark, Juan de la Cuesta, 1996) pp. 141–158; 156

  • Picoche, J-L. “Le Theatre a Madrid entre 1833 et 1850” in Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch y Martínez, Los Amantes de Teruel (Paris, Centre de recherches Hispaniques, 1970) pp. 13-56

  • Surwillo, L. The Stages of Property: Copyrighting Theatre in Spain (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2007)

Related documents in this database:
1813: Rules to preserve the property of authors over their works
1837: Royal Order on Music Copyright
1847: Literary Property Act
1862: Bretón de los Herreros' Copyright Contract
1868: Colonial Copyright Extensions
1877: Supreme Court on Music Copyright

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1837

Location: Madrid

Language: Spanish

Source: Archivo Histórico Nacional; AHN, Consejos, 11404, Exp. 026

Persons referred to:
Bretón de los Herreros , Manuel
García Gutiérrez , Antonio
Hartzenbusch, Juan Eugenio
Ochoa, Eugenio de
Romero de Larrañaga , Gregorio

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:


authorship, legal concept of
authorship, romantic concept of
dramatic works, protected subject matter
societies, authors’

Responsible editor: Bellido, Xalabarder & Casas Vallès

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is co-published by Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK and CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, 10 The Square, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK