Beier: On the Book Trade and its Privileges, Jena (1690)

Source: Scanned from a reprint edited by Reinhard Wittmann (Munich: Kraus International Publishing, 1981)

Beier: On the Book Trade and its Privileges, Jena (1690), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Chapter 1 Page 1


      LXXIV. In the latter case, / when a book is
enlarged or abridged, / this may either happen simply
by the use of a larger or smaller format and types - / then
it comes to the same thing as the earlier cases - / or a scholar
may also apply himself to it / and either contract it into a
compendium with tables, / synopses and such like, / or
expand it by the addition of notes and supplements, / or
do both of these things at the same time, / as Hilliger did in his
"Donellus Enucleatus"*. Now, if this is done with the author's
and also the previous publisher's consent and knowledge, and in accordance
with his wishes, / then it is the proper way of going about it / and without
doubt the previous publisher's interests will also have been taken into
account, so that if he so wishes, the publication [of the new edition] will
be entrusted to him before anyone else. However, where this is not observed, / as
was the case with the "Limnaeus enucleatus"**, / then it is quite
reasonable that the author and first publisher should complain about this. The
same would be the case / if a large book were to be reduced to a synopsis in such
a way / that, although the best parts would still remain in the original work /


* Oswald Hilliger's 1616 book "Donellus Elucidated" [an abridged version of Donellus's "Commentari juris civilis"], which appeared in many editions.

** Philipp Andreas Oldenburger's 1670 book "Limnaeus Elucidated" [an abridged version of Johannes Limnaeus's 1657 treatise on civil law in the Holy Roman Empire]

Chapter 1 Page 2

and this synopsis just served as a guide [to the main work], / the latter,
in fact, proved to be in greater demand and more copies of it were sold,
since quite a few people may not feel confident enough to read the
larger book and buy it / because they consider it too much for them /
and prefer to get an idea of it through the shorter work - as was
the case with Carpzov, where / the praiseworthy Law Faculty
at Erfurt responded in terminis de Jure on 17 November 1669
- but all this must take place with the consent of the first
publisher, / since otherwise there would be no end
to the bringing out of ever new excerpts, enlarged,
and modified editions.

Translation by: Luis A. Sundkvist (pp.54-55)


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