# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer
Kant: On the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1785)

Source: Retrospektive Digitalisierung wissenschaftlicher Rezensionsorgane und Literaturzeitschriften des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem deutschen Sprachraum, http://www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/diglib/aufklaerung/index.htm.

Kant: On the Unlawfulness of Reprinting, Berlin (1785), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

Back | Record | Images | Commentaries: [1]
Translation only | Transcription only | Show all | Bundled images as pdf

            Chapter 1 Page 2 of 15 total


how much less would a merely presumed consent suffice as the grounds
for such an obligation!
            However, I believe to have good reason to regard publishing
not as the trading with goods in one's own name but as the conduct of
business in the name of another person - namely, the author - and that
in this way I can easily and clearly demonstrate the unlawfulness of
reprinting. My argument is contained in a syllogism which proves the
publisher's right; followed by a second syllogism which will refute
the reprinter's claims.


Deduction of the publisher's right against the reprinter.

            Whoever conducts someone else's business in that person's
name and yet against his will is obliged to give up to him, or to his
assignee or proxy, all the profits that may arise therefrom, and to
repair all the losses which are thereby occasioned to either the one
or the other.


for reprinting? Scarcely would anyone consent to this, since he would
thereby expose himself to all kinds of trouble regarding [judicial]
inquiries that might be started against him and the need to have to
accept responsibility. As a result, the publisher would never be able
to sell his work!


( 404 )

wie viel weniger wird eine bloß präsumirte zur
Verbindlichkeit derselben zureichen?
      Ich glaube aber Ursache zu haben, den
Verlag nicht als das Verkehr mit einer Waare in
seinem eigenen Namen, sondern als die Führung
eines Geschäftes im Namen eines andern, nämlich
des Verfassers, anzusehen und auf diese Weise
die Unrechtmäßigkeit des Nachdruckens leicht
und deutlich darstellen zu können. Mein Argument
ist in einem Vernunftschlusse enthalten, der das
Recht des Verlegers beweiset; dem ein zweiter
folgt, welcher den Anspruch des Nachdruckers
widerlegen soll.


Deduktion des Rechts des Verlegers gegen den

      Wer ein Geschäft eines andern in dessen Namen
und dennoch wider den Willen desselben treibt, ist
gehalten, diesem oder seinem Bevollmächtigten allen
Nutzen, der ihm daraus erwachsen möchte, abzutreten
und allen Schaden zu vergüten, der jenem oder diesem
daraus entspringt.


zum Nachdrucke gebraucht würde? Schwerlich würde
jemand dazu einwilligen: weil er sich dadurch
allerlei Beschwerlichkeit der Nachforschung und
Verantwortung aussetzen würde. Der Verlag würde
jenem also auf dem Halse bleiben.


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) (www.copyrighthistory.org).

You may not publish these documents 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