Petition by the printmakers and proprietors of copperplates to the National Assembly, May (1790)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France

Petition by the printmakers and proprietors of copperplates to the National Assembly, May (1790), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Petition by the printmakers and proprietors of copperplates to the National Assembly; followed by a memorandum that enlarges on the principles on which their demands are founded; a draft decree based on those same principles; a special memorandum on the Chambre syndicale in its relation to printmaking, supported by documentary evidence, May 1790

Full title original language:
Adresse à l’Assemblée nationale, par les graveurs et propriétaires de planches-gravées, suivie D’un Mémoire qui développe les principes sur lesquels est fondée leur demande; D’un Projet de Décret conforme à ces mêmes principes; D’un Mémoire particulier sur la Chambre Syndicale en ce qui concerne la Gravure; appuyé de pièces justificatives, Mai 1790

The petition submitted in May 1790 to the National Assembly on behalf of the nation’s printmakers and copperplate owners is among the first to demand a law of copy rights to replace the old regime of privileges abolished with the suppression of the Paris corporation of booksellers and printers, which had formerly administered and enforced it. Appendixed to the petition is the project for a new bill, but neither it nor the petition appears not to have drafted with legal assistance. Formulated by artists, the petition contributed to debates on intellectual property by articulating the case for distinguishing mere mechanical copying from imitation and for thus admitting reproductive printmakers as ‘authors’.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.


Related documents in this database:
1660: Decree on Engravings
1714: Decree on Fine Arts
1777: Royal declaration on sculpture and painting
1777: French Decree of 30 August 1777, on the duration of privileges
1793: French Literary and Artistic Property Act

Author: Pierre-François Basan, Pierre-Philippe Choffard, Charles-Etienne Gaucher, Nicolas Ponce

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1790

Location: N/A

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France

Persons referred to:
Charles-Etienne Gaucher (1741-1804)
Etienne-François de Choiseul, duc de Choiseul (1719-85)
Jean-Baptiste Tillard (1740-1813)
Jean-Benjamin de Laborde (1734-94)
Jean-Charles-Pierre Lenoir (1732-1807)
Jean-Claude Richard de Saint-Non (1727-91)
Nicolas Ponce (1746-1831)
Pierre-François Basan (1723-97)
Pierre-Philippe Choffard (1730-1809)

Places referred to:
Great Britain

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Assemblée nationale
Cabinet national
Chambre syndicale of the booksellers’ company

Arrêt du Conseil d’État portant règlement pour assurer la fourniture qui doit être faite à la Chambre syndicale de Paris, de neuf exemplaires de tous les ouvrages imrimés ou gravés (France) 16 Avril, 1785
Decree on Engravings (France) 1660
Engravers’ Copyright Act (UK) 1735


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