# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer
Baden Civil Code, Karlsruhe (1809)

Source: Scanned from a copy held at the Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte. Available online at: http://dlib-pr.mpier.mpg.de

Baden Civil Code, Karlsruhe (1809), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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3 translated pages

Chapter 1 Page 1

Civil Code

of the

Grand Duchy of Baden



Commercial Laws


With a gracious privilege from the Grand Duke of Baden


[published by] C. F. Macklot, booksellers to the Court


Chapter 1 Page 2


Fifth Section.

On Literary Ownership.

      577 d a. Any treatise that has been written down is the original property
of the person who has composed it, as long as he did not execute it by order
of someone else and for the latter’s benefit – in such a case, the treatise
would be owned by the person who had commissioned it.

      577 d b. Literary ownership covers not just the manuscript, but also its
content. Included in this concept, therefore, is the right to dispose as one
pleases of its reproduction by means of copying or reprinting.

      577 d c. Like any other type of property, literary ownership can pass to
others in appropriate cases.

      577 d d. Someone [i.e. an author] who hands over a manuscript to have it
printed off for publication by himself, in no way divests himself of his ownership.
      However, someone who hands over a manuscript for publication by the receiver
– be it free of charge or for an agreed price – thereby completely cedes his
property in the manuscript and limits his property in the content in accordance
with the [receiver’s] right of publishing.

      577 d e. These limitations – in as far as the publishing contract has not
stipulated otherwise or laid down any additional clauses – are such that the
publisher may have as many copies printed for his edition as he pleases, but he
is not allowed to repeat the edition without the consent of the owner.

Chapter 1 Page 3

Similarly, these limitations entail that the publisher may arrange an
[authorised] reprint edition at will, as far as its outward appearance
is concerned, but that he may not add or remove anything from its content.

      577 d f. The acquisition of a copy makes its purchaser the owner of
just this single item, but not of its content: he may therefore not arrange
for it to be reprinted without the consent of the author and the publisher.
However, by means of extracts, adaptation, or interpretation, he may use it
as the basis for treatises of his own, to which he would then have the right
of literary ownership.

      577 d g. Authors and publishers can maintain their right of ownership
only insofar as they have indicated their names on the impression. If only
one of the two is named, he shall by himself exert the rights of both.

      577 d h. The literary ownership of printed works expires with the death
of the owner who had them published. Any possessor of [a copy of] the work
may then arrange for it to be reprinted, as long as no privilege granted to
the [original] publisher stands in the way of this.


Translation by: Luis A. Sundkvist


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