French Decree of 30 August 1777, on the duration of privileges, Paris (1777)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n° 146

French Decree of 30 August 1777, on the duration of privileges, Paris (1777), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Decree of the King's Council of State, containing regulations on the duration of book trade privileges. 30 August 1777.

Full title original language:
Arrest du Conseil d'Etat du Roi, Portant Règlement sur la durée des Priviléges en Librairie. Du 30 août 1777.

Like the 1774 Donaldson v. Beckett case in Great Britain, the royal provisions of 30 August 1777, regarding the duration of exclusive privileges, constituted a decisive date in the French history of literary property. Indeed, in this last crucial set of regulations of the book trade under the Ancien Régime, the King, while recognizing to authors a “propriété de droit” emanating from their specific labour, finally restricted the booksellers monopolies. The commentary discusses the difficult attempt to reconcile these two goals, also at the cost of a redefinition of book trade privileges, debates which also generated inevitably at the time – and later – numerous interpretations and critics.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:
1777: Linguet's memorandum
1778: Pluquet's letters
1778: Decree on counterfeitings
1779: Séguier's report
1790: Petition by the printmakers and proprietors of copperplates to the National Assembly, May
1780: Venetian Reprint of the French Decree of 30 August 1777, on the duration of privileges

Author: N/A

Publisher: Augustin-Martin Lottin (1726-1793)

Year: 1777

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n° 146

Persons referred to:
Amelot de Chaillou, Antoine-Jean
Le Camus de Neville, François Claude Michel Benoît
Lottin, Augustin-Martin
Louis XVI

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Chambre syndicale des libraires et imprimeurs (Paris)
King's Council of State (France)
Parisian Guild of Booksellers and Printers

Decree of the King's Council on the duration of privileges (1777)

authors' remuneration
duration, prolongation of privileges
licensing, Approbation
licensing, Imprimatur
perpetual protection
price regulation
privileges, printing

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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