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Literary and artistic property act, Paris (1866)

Source: Bibliothèque universitaire de Poitiers (SCD) : Bulletin des Lois de l'Empire français, XIe série, tome XXVIII, n° 1405

Literary and artistic property act, Paris (1866), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter 1 Page 1




Nº 1405


Nº 14.407 – ACT on the Rights of heirs and of lawful representatives of

Of 14 July 1866

      NAPOLÉON, by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH, to
all present and to come, SALUTATIONS.



Extract from the minutes of the proceedings of the legislative body

      THE LEGISLATIVE BODY HAS ADOPTED THE BILL of which the content follows:

      1ST ARTICLE. The duration of rights granted by previous Acts to heirs, irregular
successors, donees or legatees of authors, composers or artists, is extended to fifty
years from the death of the author.
      During this period of fifty years, the surviving spouse, irrespective of the
matrimonial regime, and independently of rights that may result in favour of this spouse
from the community property regime, has the simple enjoyment of rights that the
predeceased author has not bequeathed by act inter vivos or by will.
      However, if the author leaves reserved heirs, this enjoyment is reduced, to the profit
of these heirs, following the proportions and distinctions established by articles 913 and
915 of the Napoleonic Code.
      This enjoyment does not occur when there exists, at the moment of death, a judicial
separation pronounced against this spouse; it ceases in the event that the spouse contracts
a new marriage.
      The rights of reserved heirs and other heirs or successors, during this period of
fifty years, remain moreover ruled in accordance with the prescriptions of the Napoleonic
      When the succession is devolved to the State, the exclusive right is extinguished
without prejudice to the rights of creditors and to the execution of treaties of assignment
that may have been consented by the author or by his representatives.

Chapter 1 Page 2


      2. All the provisions of previous Acts contrary to those of
the new Act are and remain repealed.

      Deliberated in a public session, in Paris, the 27th of June 1866

                                                                  The President,
                                                            Signed A. WALEWSKI.

                                                                  The Secretaries,
                                    Signed SÉVERIN ABBATUCCI, Count W. DE LA VALETTE,
                                                ALFRED DARIMON

      The Senate does not oppose the promulgation of the Act relative to
the rights of heirs, irregular successors, donees or legatees of authors,
composers or artists,

      Deliberated and voted in session, in the palace of the Senate, the 6th of July 1866.

                                                                  The President,
                                                            Signed TROPLONG

                                                                  The Secretaries,
                                    Signed FERDINAND BARROT, Count BOULAY (de la Meurthe),
                                                General Baron CHARON


Translation by: Silje Normand


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