Dramatic Act (1780)

Source: Archives nationales, 01/844 (document conservé aux Archives nationales, Paris)

Citation:
Dramatic Act (1780), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 1 of 9 total




Extract from the Registers of the King’s Council of State


      THE KING, being informed that there are still legal contentions going on
between the dramatic authors and the Comédiens-Français, even though a part
of their disputes had been amicably set at rest through an agreement signed by the
Comédiens on the 11th of March last, approved on the 31st of the same month by the First
Gentleman of His Majesty’s Bedchamber and signed by the authors on the 7th of the
following month, and also despite the fact that on the 17th of March and 12th of May last
two rulings [arrêts] intervened in this matter, which, it would seem, ought to have put
an end to all the other difficulties, His Majesty has deemed it essential to have the most
detailed accounts rendered to him as to the various mémoires containing the arguments of
the Comédiens and those of the authors, and to make a definitive pronouncement by means
of provisions so clear and so precise, that henceforth there can remain no doubt whatsoever
as to his true intentions. Wishing to ensure this, having heard the report, the King being
present at his Council has ordered and does order what follows.

Article 1

      All the decisions of acceptance into the repertory [réceptions] made up to and
including this day by the Comédie regarding plays which have not yet been performed
are to be treated as null and void. However, the authors of the said plays are allowed to present
them again for a fresh reading in front of the troupe [lecture]. His Majesty wishes and demands
that at the time of this new reading, the Comédiens should show consideration for authors
who are already well-known in the theatre thanks to their fine works [ouvrages]. The
plays which are received for this new appraisal will retain amongst themselves the order
of seniority which they previously had, and the authors whose plays are rejected will
have the period of their free entrance tickets discontinued, since these were acquired by
decisions of acceptance [réception] made before [this ruling].

Art. 2

      In order to prevent in future all abuses in decisions of acceptance, be it for new

    



Extrait des Registres du Conseil d'État du Roy.


      LE ROI étant informé qu'il existe toujours des contestations
entre les auteurs Dramatiques et les Comédiens français, quoiqu'une partie
de leurs discussions ait été terminée à l'amiable par un accord signé des
Comédiens le 11. mars d[erni]er, approuvé le 31. du même mois par les premiers
Gentilshommes de la chambre de Sa Majesté et signé par les Auteurs le 7.
mai suivant, et qu'il soit d'ailleurs intervenu le 17. mars et 12. mai d[erni]ers
deux arrêts qui semblaient devoir finir toutes les autres difficultés, Sa
Majesté a jugé indispensable de se faire rendre compte dans le plus grand
détail des différents mémoires contenant les représentations des Comédiens et
celles des Auteurs, et de prononcer définitivement par des dispositions si
claires et si précises qu'il ne puisse désormais rester aucune doute sur ses
véritables intentions. A quoi voulant pouvoir: oui le rapport, Le Roi
étant en son Conseil, a ordonné et ordonne ce qui suit:

Article 1er.

      Toutes les réceptions faites jusqu'à ce jour par la Comédie de pièces
non encore jouées seront regardées comme nulles et non reçues. Pourront
néanmoins les Auteurs des d[ites] pièces les présenter de nouveau à la lecture.
Veut et entend Sa Majesté que, lors de ces nouvelles lectures, les Comédiens
ayent des égards pour les Auteurs déjà connus au théâtre par de bons
ouvrages. Les pièces qui seront reçues au nouvel éxamen conserveront entre
elles le rang d'ancienneté qu'elles avaient auparavant, et les Auteurs dont les
pièces seront refusées achèveront le temps de leurs entrées, comme leur ayant
été acquises par la réception cy-devant faite.

Art. 2.

      Pour prévenir par la suite tous abus dans la réception, soit des pièces

    

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