French Decree on Musical Publications, Paris (1786)

Source: Archives nationales : AD 1075 (document conservé aux Archives nationales, Paris).

French Decree on Musical Publications, Paris (1786), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Decree of the King's Privy Council of State, establishing a Stamp Office for Music. Issued on 15 September 1786.

Full title original language:
Arrêt du Conseil d'Etat du Roi, Qui établit un Bureau de Timbre pour la Musique. Du 15 Septembre 1786.

In a context where the market for printed sheet music had been dominated, ever since the mid-16th century, by the privileges of the Ballard family, no specific regulations had been issued in this matter by the authorities. Thus, the Decree of the King's Council of 15 September 1786 was the first act of royal legislation under the ancien régime to cover music. In addition to creating a Stamp Office for Music, the Decree established the protection of musical works on the same footing as that of literary works. Coming as it did nine years after the important decrees of 30 August 1777, it confirmed in this sense the specificity of publication privileges, namely as favours 'based upon justice', granted in order to protect their holders' 'property rights' against counterfeit.

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Author: N/A

Publisher: Royal Print

Year: 1786

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Archives nationales : AD 1075 (document conservé aux Archives nationales, Paris).

Persons referred to:
Cailleau, André-Charles
Delalain, Nicolas-Augustin, Sr.
Knapen, André François
Louis XVI
Mérigot, Jacques
Nyon, Jean-Luc, Jr.

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
Royal School of Declamation & Song (Paris)
Stamp Office for Music (Paris)

French Decree on Music Publications 1786

engravings, protected subject matter
music publishing
music, protected subject matter

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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