Commentary on:
Saxonian Statute (1773)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: d_1773


Electoral Saxony's Statute, Dresden (1773)

Friedemann Kawohl

Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Bournemouth University, UK


Please cite as:
Kawohl, F. (2008) ‘Commentary on the Saxonian Statute of 1773 regulating the book trade', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


1. Full title

2. Abstract

3. References


1. Full title

Friedrich August Elector of Saxony's Statute of 18 December 1773 and Regulation for the Register to be kept by the Book Commission in Leipzig


2. Abstract

The Saxonian Statute of 1773 served the interests of the local book industry and the Leipzig fair as the main trading and reloading place for German books. A publisher from outside Saxony could benefit from the strict and effective measures against reprinting on condition that (1) he arranged for his book to be published by a Saxon printing office, and (2) he could prove "that in his native country reciprocity is observed in this matter with regard to Our subjects" (im.1), the latter being a hurdle which at the time could only be met by publishers from Prussia, where a general ban on reprints had been decreed in 1766. It was explicitly laid down that no excuse was to be tolerated, such as the usual one to the effect "that the reprinted copies were just being conveyed in transit" (im.5). A central figure in the drafting and issuing of the Statute was Thomas Freiherr von Fritsch (1700-1775), a civil servant notable for his role in the rebuilding of Saxony after the Seven Years' War (1756-63), whose signature is on the document. His father (Johann) Thomas Fritsch (1666-1726) was one of the most important Leipzig-based publishers and booksellers of the early eighteenth century.



3. References


Books and articles [in alphabetical order]

Gieseke, L. Vom Privileg zum Urheberrecht (Baden-Baden: Nomos 1995)



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