French Literary and Artistic Property Act, Paris (1793)

Source: Archives nationales : BB/34/1/46 (document conservé aux Archives nationales, Paris)

French Literary and Artistic Property Act, Paris (1793), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

Back | Record | Images | Commentaries: [1]
Record-ID: f_1793

Permanent link:

Full title:
Decree of the National Convention, of 19 July 1793, regarding the property rights of authors to writings of all kinds, of composers of music, of painters and illustrators (with the report of Lakanal)

Full title original language:
Décret de la Convention Nationale du dix-neuf juillet 1793 relatif aux droits de propriété des Auteurs d'écrits en tout genre, des Compositeurs de musique, des Peintres et des Dessinateurs (avec le rapport de Lakanal)

The Decree of 19-24 July 1793, probably the most famous of the French legislative sources for intellectual property, confirmed the recognition of the literary and artistic property right, secured from now on by national law. In spite of its mere 7 articles, it was to have a very exceptional longevity, framing the matter throughout 19th century. However, it was voted upon by the National Assembly without any specific debates and in any case managed to establish, for better or for worse, a precarious balance, often discussed throughout 19th century, between the interest of the individual and the interest of the public.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1793

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Archives nationales : BB/34/1/46 (document conservé aux Archives nationales, Paris)

Persons referred to:
Billaud-Varenne, Jacques Nicolas
Corneille, Pierre
Jeanbon, André
Lakanal, Joseph
Lindet, Jean-Baptiste Robert
Thuriot, Jacques-Alexis

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Cabinet des Estampes (Print Room, National Library, Paris)
Committee of Public Instruction (First Republic)
National Convention (1792-1795)

French Copyright Act 1793

French Revolution
applied art, protected subject matter
authors' remuneration
authorship, romantic concept of
books, protected subject matter
common law copyright
drawings, protected subject matter
duration, post mortem term
learning, the advancement of
music, protected subject matter
natural rights
paintings, protected subject matter
penalties, paid to author(s)
penalties, paid to publisher(s)
property theory, authors' property
public domain

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (

You may not publish these documents for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

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