# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer
Linguet's memorandum, London (1777)

Source: Bibliothèque universitaire de Poitiers (SCD) : Linguet, Simon-Nicolas-Henri, Annales politiques, civiles, et littéraires du XVIIIe siècle, tome III, Londres, 1777, p. 24.

Citation:
Linguet's memorandum, London (1777), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 48 of 49 total



56

      Whoever has ambition and courage will be able to undertake profitable
ventures at the foot of the Pyrenees, just as on the banks of the Seine. No
longer will it only be the booksellers of the capital who reap such a harvest.

      There was a time when the provinces challenged this advantage. Lyon,
Toulouse, Bordeaux, Reims, Rouen, had lively and productive presses which
constantly supplied the country’s shops. The damaging prosperity of
counterfeiters killed off or corrupted almost all of them. Who could prevent the
welcome return of this rivalry if the law were rigorously to watch over the
property of the bookseller in Tarbes, in the same way as over the Parisian
one? What publisher could complain of his inactivity, or give in to the
temptation of robbery, if his trade opened up to him a sure and easy career; if
laws were enforced, not to degrade literature, nor to nullify the property rights
associated with it, but to protect them?

      If this happened, manuscripts would be more precious, more sought after, and
consequently bought at a higher price. By restoring confidence, a guaranteed
resource would be opened up to men of letters, and, what ought to be more
precious to those among them who are truly scrupulous, a resource which
would be worthy of honour, and solely on account of their own hard work; one
which would not be tarnished by shameful entreaties, or by derogatory
indulgences. Then, the glory which today shines for them unfruitfully at the
summit of Parnassus


    


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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK