A publisher's 'Friendly Reminder' about reprints, Schmalkalden (1591)

Source: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, online edition 'Rechtsquellen der frühen Neuzeit' http://rechtsquellen-digital.uni-hd.de

A publisher's 'Friendly Reminder' about reprints, Schmalkalden (1591), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Record-ID: d_1591

Permanent link: https://copyrighthistory.org/cam/tools/request/showRecord.php?id=record_d_1591

Full title:
'Friendly Reminder to all God-loving Book printers, Booksellers, and publishers' included by the publisher Michel Schmück as the foreword to Part I of Cyriacus Spangenberg's 'Mirror for the Nobility', a treatise on the aristocracy

Full title original language:
Adels Spiegel.|| Historischer || Ausf[ue]rlicher Bericht: Was Adel || sey vnd heisse/ Woher er kome/ Wie mancherley er sey/ Vnd || Was denselben ziere vnd erhalte ... || auffs fleissigste beschrieben/ Durch || M.Cyriacum Spangenberg.||

This document is associated with the core document: d_1531. This printer's preface was cited in a dispute among German scholars on what was called a 'publisher's property' as a precursor of the later concept of 'author's property'. The publisher refers to Christ's Seventh Commandment and brands reprinting as theft. Schmück's request that no one reprint his book is based on the claim that he had produced the book at 'quite significant expense'. Gieseke comments on this: 'It would have seemed obvious if publishers had regarded the expenses incurred in acquiring a new work (i.e. the author's fee, in particular), not merely as a debit entry in the publishing account but, rather, as what they had to pay in return for obtaining a special exploitation right (in the modern sense) to the work embodied in the manuscript (that is, a right going beyond mere physical ownership of the manuscript).' From the observation that Schmück did not put forward such an argument, Gieseke concludes that 'the notion of an exploitation right to the work acquired [by the publisher] from the author did not exist as yet'.

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Related documents in this database:
1531: Basel Printers' Statute

Author: Cyriacus Spangenberg/ Michel Schmück

Publisher: Michel Schmück

Year: 1591

Location: Schmalkalden

Language: German

Source: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, online edition 'Rechtsquellen der frühen Neuzeit' http://rechtsquellen-digital.uni-hd.de

Persons referred to:
Schmück, Michel
Spangenberg, Cyriacus

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:


Bible, the
book trade
divine law
property theory, publishers' property

Responsible editor: Friedemann Kawohl

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