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J.F.F. Ganz's draft for a general ban on reprinting within the whole Empire, Mainz and Fulda (1790)

Source: Retrospektive Digitalisierung wissenschaftlicher Rezensionsorgane und Literaturzeitschriften des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem deutschen Sprachraum, http://www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/diglib/aufklaerung/index.htm.

J.F.F. Ganz's draft for a general ban on reprinting within the whole Empire, Mainz and Fulda (1790), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 10 of 11 total

414            XIV. A brief outline of the reasons

or the legitimate publisher brings an action to
this effect at the local authority in whose
territory of jurisdiction the reprinter had his
place of residence, then, in the first case, all
the reprint copies are to be confiscated and
destroyed; the reprinter is to be subjected to
a monetary or corporal punishment which is appro-
priate to the scale of the piracy committed by
him, and consequently all his belongings are to
be taken into the court's custody; and the
legitimate publisher who has been injured in his
property right is to be informed of this, so that
he may decide what further steps he wishes to
take in order to be indemnified; in the second
instance, on the other hand, as is the legal norm for
banking, industrial, and mercantile cases, summary
proceedings are used and, as soon as the corpus
, i.e. the reprint copy or copies,
has been ascertained and the damages adjudicated,
parata execution [prompt execution] is to
come into immediate effect, after all of the
reprinter's personal assets have been impounded *)
      *) Imperial edict of 1654, §.107.

      V. However, the Prince-Electors, princes, and
estates are hereby at liberty to take all measures
which they consider to be necessary for the
elimination of reprinting and for its stricter
penalisation *)
      *) Imperial police regulation of 1577, Tit.XX,

[Col. 2]

      VI. In the unlikely case of denial of justice
by the courts of Imperial estates, the two supreme
Imperial courts are to immediately come to the aid
of the plaintiff either with mandates S. C. [?], or,
depending on the circumstances of the case, with
express [instructions ?] for the administration of
justice *)
      *) Electoral Capitulations of Maximilian II, Art.
XX, and of Rudolph II, Art. XVIIf.

      VII. The Imperial Exchequer is also instructed to
proceed against the Imperial estates and circles who
fail to comply with these regulations, and, what is
more, regardless of whether the plaintiff requests
this or not *)
      *) Electoral Capitulation, Art. VIII, §.12,
Imperial edict of 1530, §.137. Imperial police
regulation of 1577, Tit. XVIII, §§.6-12.

      VIII. Every Imperial estate is at liberty to
take any measures that it considers appropriate for
raising the level of literature and the book trade
within its territory *)
      *) Imperial report of 22 July/ 1 August 1668.

      IX. The Imperial Circles, in particular, are
requested, apart from putting an end to reprinting,
to make the question as to how the book industry
might be re-vivified and increases in book prices
precluded,^ into the foremost object of their


^ This is the 'knot' which I would wish to see
unravelled before setting forth the next point of
the Capitulation. For just as much as I desire that
legitimate publishers might be protected against
reprinters, I also wish that the reading public, too,
might be protected from the greed for profit of some
booksellers. Books are for the mind as indispensable
a necessity as bread is for the body. A good police
order must be able to take vigorous measures in order
to prevent the prices of either of these two commodities
from becoming too high. In fact, this increase in
book prices has a further reason which has nothing to do
with the price of a book as such, but with the excessive
postage costs charged for its delivery to the customer.
Thus, a few days ago, I found out that a subscriber to
my journal had to pay a postage charge of 1 florin for the
[January ?] issue, calculated for a distance of some 20
miles at the rate of the local post-coach. Thus, the
postage for 12 issues of the journal effectively turns out
to be 1 florin and 12 kreuzer more than the cover price
for a full year's set, which can be bought at all bookshops
for 10 florins and 48 kreuzer! I could cite thousands of
similar complaints. Surely literature, for all kinds of
reasons, deserves preferential treatment on the part of the
Imperial and municipal post-offices?


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