Bilateral Treaty between Austria and Sardinia, Vienna (1840)

Source: Wienbibliothek Sign: B 103976

Bilateral Treaty between Austria and Sardinia, Vienna (1840), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Bilateral Treaty between His Majesty, the Emperor of Austria, and His Majesty, the King of Sardina, for the safeguarding of property rights with regard to the literary and artistic works that appear in their respective States; sealed in Vienna, on 22 May 1840; communicated to all courts of appeal by an Imperial decree of 14 July 1840

Full title original language:
Staatsvertrag zwischen seiner Majestät dem Kaiser von Oesterreich und Seiner Majestät dem Könige von Sardinien, Zur Sicherstellung der Eigenthumsrechte hinsichtlich der in Ihren beiderseitigen Staaten erscheinenden literarischen und artistischen Werke, abgeschlossen zu Wien den 22. Mai 1840, mitgetheilt sämmtlichen Appelationsgerichten durch Hofdecret vom 14. Juli 1840

This first international copyright treaty involving one of the German-speaking countries was of major importance within Austria and Italy. The initial impetus for the treaty came from the Sardinian ambassador in Vienna, and it was intended to resolve reprinting conflicts between, for example, 'Sardinian' publishers from Turin and 'Austrian' publishers from Milan and Venice, as well as to ban the importing of unlicensed reprints into Lombardy. Elements of modern copyright theory, such as a general, abstract concept of the protected 'work' and a post mortem auctoris term were implemented. The treaty went on to form a major part of the Austrian Copyright Act of 1846, and was incorporated into the domestic legislation of the Kingdom of Sardinia and soon acceded to by other Italian states. From the Italian authors' perspective, however, the treaty failed to set standards for copyright contracts, and remained 'half-finished and incomplete' in its professed aim of creating beneficial conditions for the Italian book market.

1 Commentary:

  • Schuster, Heinrich M. 'Die Entstehung des Urheberrechtspatentes vom 19. October 1846', Juristische Blätter, 20 (1891): 279-280, 291-294, 303-318, 327-331, 339-341

  • Mittermaier, Karl. 'Neueste Gesetzgebung in Italien', 'Kritische Zeitschrift für Rechtswissenschaft und Gesetzgebung des Auslandes' 12 (1840): 461-467

  • Borghi, Maurizio. 'La Manifattura del Pensiero' (Milan: Franco Angeli, 2003)

Related documents in this database:

Author: N/A

Publisher: Hof- und Staats-Aerarial-Druckerei

Year: 1840

Location: Vienna

Language: German

Source: Wienbibliothek Sign: B 103976

Persons referred to:
Bertone di Sambuy, Count Vittorio Amadeo Balbo
Charles Albert of Savoy
Ferdinand I
Lebzeltern-Collenbach, Franz Ritter von
Metternich, Clemens Lothar Wenzel von

Places referred to:
Ticino (Tessin)

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:

Austro-Sardinian Copyright Treaty 1840

Vienna Congress
anonymous works
authorship, corporate
book market
books, protected subject matter
copying, concept of
dramatic works, protected subject matter
drawings, protected subject matter
duration, post mortem term
engravings, protected subject matter
foreign reprints
international agreements, bilateral
international agreements, multilateral
music, protected subject matter
paintings, protected subject matter
penalties, paid to author(s)
penalties, paid to publisher(s)
public domain
scholarly writing
sculpture, protected subject matter
translations, protection of

Responsible editor: Friedemann Kawohl

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