Prussian Statute Book (ALR), Berlin (1794)

Source: Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart A18/725-2,2

Prussian Statute Book (ALR), Berlin (1794), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: d_1794

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Full title:
Reprinting Provisions in the Prussian Statute Book, I 11 §§ 996-1036 and II 20 §§ 1294-1297

Full title original language:
Allgemeines Landrecht für die Preussischen Staaten

The Prussian Statute Book (ALR) of 1794 is the first body of legislation in the German lands to pronounce a general ban on reprinting without formalities. The ALR provisions based copyright on a publishing contract, entitling the publisher to sue for damages anyone undertaking a pirate edition. Publishers must, however, secure the authors' approval before publishing an amended edition, for which authors may enter into a contract with another publisher, as long as they buy up at wholesale prices any remaining copies of the first edition. Although the provisions were amended significantly in the Prussian Copyright Act of 1837 (d_1837a), the ALR remained effective as a legal framework until the German Civil Code (BGB) of 1900. This commentary looks at Prussian privilege practice and earlier copyright regulations, as well as at the discussions generated by the proposed copyright provisions in the ALR, and how these were amended. The ALR editors had originally envisaged substantially stronger rights for authors, but eventually the publisher Friedrich Nicolai's view on authorship as an ideally non-commercial activity helped to push through provisions favouring the publishers.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:

Author: C. G. Svarez (1721-1801) and J. H. K. Graf von Carmer (1720-1801)

Publisher: Gottfried Carl Nauck

Year: 1794

Location: Berlin

Language: German

Source: Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart A18/725-2,2

Persons referred to:
Berger, Daniel
Frederick William II
Nauck, Gottfried Carl

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Frankfurt fair
Leipzig fair

Prussian Statute Book 1794 (ALR)

Enlightenment, the
French Revolution
author/publisher relations
authors' remuneration
authors, self-publishing
authorship, joint or collaborative
authorship, theory of
book fairs
book trade
books, protected subject matter
contracts, regulation of
editions, new
engravings, protected subject matter
maps, protected subject matter
music, protected subject matter
natural rights
privileges, German Imperial
privileges, Prussian
privileges, Saxon
property theory
property theory, publishers' property
scholarly writing
translations, of contemporary works
translations, protection of

Responsible editor: Friedemann Kawohl

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is co-published by Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK and CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, 10 The Square, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK