Total Ban on Book Imports, Denmark–Norway, Copenhagen (1596)

Source: National Archives of Denmark, Danske Kancelli: Sjællandske tegnelser (1572-1660) B57G: 1590 - 1596 mm.

Total Ban on Book Imports, Denmark–Norway, Copenhagen (1596), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

Back | Record | Images | No Commentaries
Record-ID: sc_1596

Permanent link:

Full title:
Missive to the mayors and councillors of Copenhagen, Malmö, Lund, Århus, Viborg, Ålborg, Odense, Ribe, Bergen, Trondheim, Oslo and Stavanger regarding the prohibition of booksellers to sell books not printed in Denmark.

Full title original language:
Missive til borgermestre og råd i København, Malmø, Lund, Århus, Viborg, Ålborg, Odense, Ribe, Bergen, Tronhjem, Oslo, Stavanger om forbud mod, at bogførere sælge, uden lands på dansk trykte, bøger.

This missive is the first document to completely ban the import of books printed outside the realm, demonstrating the gap between state policy on access to illicit materials and the transnational flow of books across borders. Together with other sixteenth-century ordinances and laws, it contributed to the emergence of a book market strictly modelled on state policy.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.


Related documents in this database:
1596: Total Ban on Book Imports, Denmark–Norway

Author: Christian IV of Denmark

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1596

Location: Copenhagen

Language: Danish

Source: National Archives of Denmark, Danske Kancelli: Sjællandske tegnelser (1572-1660) B57G: 1590 - 1596 mm.

Persons referred to:

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:


book market
book trade
books, protected subject matter
copying, concept of
foreign reprints
translations, of contemporary works

Responsible editor: Marius Buning

Copyright History resource developed in partnership with:

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (

With the exception of commentaries that are available under a CC-BY licence (compliant with UKRI policy) you may not publish individual documents or parts of the database for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

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