# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer
Bluntschli: On Authors' Rights, Munich (1853)

Source: Scanned from a copy held in the Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte.

Bluntschli: On Authors' Rights, Munich (1853), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 2 of 33 total


the fifteenth century, but it is not until our own age that the
principle underlying author’s rights has finally been identified.
There is, however, still some work to do before this principle
attains full recognition.
      At first it was only individual literary works which were
protected by privileges from unauthorised reprinting. A universal
right was not yet recognized, and the person carrying out such
unauthorised reprinting could be threatened with punishment only
for the reason that he had disregarded the prohibition contained
in the privilege. The oldest extant privileges of this kind were
issued in the years 1494-96 by the Republic of Venice, the Duke
of Milan, and the Senate of the Free Imperial City of Nuremberg.
      It was only gradually- and rather tentatively, for that matter-
that the jurisprudence of some countries began to take care of the
rights of authors and their publishers. However, even the judges
who did this had all sorts of doubts about the legal form in which
they were to protect these rights. For a long time many scholars
of jurisprudence disputed- and some still do so to the present day-
the existence of these


[2) cont.] is a concession which is founded in justice and whose
purpose, if it has been granted to the author, is to remunerate him
for his work, and, if it has been granted to the publisher, to
guarantee that he will recover any advances or royalties paid to
the author as well as his expenses. [His Majesty has also recognized]
that this difference in the motives which underlie particular
privileges must necessarily imply different lengths of time for
which they are to be valid.”

3) Finding of the English House of Lords, 1774 after discussion by
the Chief Justices (see Renouard I, p.236): “Question: Does the
author of a book or any kind of literary work have, according to
common law, the exclusive right to be the first to have it printed


No Transcription available.

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