Music publishers' agreement to ban reprinting, Leipzig (1829)

Source: Sächsisches Staatsarchiv Leipzig

Music publishers' agreement to ban reprinting, Leipzig (1829), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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with the respectability and firmness that it currently lacks with regard
to security and property rights, to the utmost detriment of the publishers,
the undersigned have come together and, after thorough consideration, agreed
on the following points:


      None of the contracting parties who have signed the present document
shall reprint, fully or partially, the publications owned by another [signer],
neither as individual copies, mixed collections, nor collected editions


      Divided property* will be respected fully, but the German publisher must
ensure that his editions come out at the same time (as far as this is possible)
as those in England and France, and that on the title-page of the copies appearing
abroad his firm's name is indicated as the rights-holder for Germany. However,
in order to avoid all possible conflicts, the contracting parties pledge
themselves not to start with the reprinting [Abdruck]** of a work that has been
published abroad until they are in possession of the title-page,*** and, so as to
preclude any uncertainty, where the ownership rights are shared by several
publishers, the impending publication shall be announced in the Allgemeiner
Anzeiger der Deutschen
and the Musikalische Zeitung of both Leipzig
and Berlin.


      The publishers are to have their right of ownership confirmed in writing by
the composer or by whosoever has the right to sell them a given work. However, a
foreign publisher will not be able to sell his copyright to a German colleague, for
the sake of maintaining the principle of reciprocity. The right of ownership: "Propriété
de l'Éditeur"
is to be indicated on the title-page, and anyone who prints this
declaration without being able to prove its validity shall become liable to a fine of
50 louis-d'or for non-fulfilment of this condition. The fine is to be paid, in accordance
with exchange law, into the poor-box of the place of residence of the violator.


      Compositions which appear in England and France without but have not been
ceded to a publisher for distribution in Germany may continue to be reproduced at
will by reprinting [Abdruck], but from the preceding paragraph it goes
without saying that the declaration: "Property of the publisher" cannot be
included on the title-page.


*) By this is meant "simultaneous publication of a work in several countries"
(Cf. Joel Sachs, "Hummel and the Pirates: The Struggle for Musical Copyright",
The Musical Quarterly, 59 (1973): 31-60 (56))

**) The term Abdruck is deliberately used here in contrast to the close synonym
Nachdruck, which invariably has connotations of 'piracy'. However, the publishers
who signed this agreement were perfectly willing to pirate compositions that
appeared abroad - as long as the rights of no other German signatory were
encroached upon!

***) i.e. to make sure that no fellow signatory was listed there as the rights-holder
for simultaneous publication in Germany (Cf. Sachs's article).


stigkeit zu geben, die ihm hinsichtlich der Sicherheit und des Eigenthums zum größten
Nachtheil der Verleger mangelt, sind die Unterzeichneten zusammengetreten und haben
nach reiflicher Überlegung sich über folgende Punkte vereinigt:


      Keiner der Herren Contrahenten, die gegenwärtige Acte unterzeichnet haben, druckt
dem andern Verlagseigenthum, weder in einzelnen Exemplaren, gemischten Sammlungen noch
in Gesammt-Ausgaben, mithin weder ganz noch theilweise nach.


      Getheiltes Eigenthum wird vollkommen respectirt; jedoch hat der deutsche Verleger
dafür zu sorgen, daß seine Ausgaben womöglich gleichzeitig mit denen in England und
Frankreich geschehen und auf dem Titel der im Auslande erschienenen Exemplare seine
Firma als Eigenthümer für Deutschland genannt ist. Um aber alle möglichen Collisionen
zu vermeiden, so machen sich die Herren Contrahenten verbindlich, den Abdruck eines im
Auslande erschienenen Werks nicht früher zu beginnen, als bis sie im Besitz des Titels
sind, und soll auch, damit alle Ungewissheit vermieden wird, der Verlegern getheilten
Eigenthums die bevorstehende Herausgabe in dem Allgemeinen Anzeiger der Deutschen und
in der Leipziger und Berliner Musikalischen Zeitung bekannt machen.


      Die Verleger sollen sich ihr Eigenthumsrecht vom Componisten, oder wer sonst Recht
zum Verkauf hat, schriftlich bestätigen lassen, doch soll ein ausländischer Verleger sein
Verlagsrecht nicht nach Deutschland verkaufen können, damit die Reciprocität aufrecht
erhalten werde. Das Eigenthumsrecht /: Propriété de l’Éditeur :/ soll auf dem
Titel vermerkt werden und jeder in eine Conventionalstrafe von 50 Loisd’or verfallen, der
diese Bemerkung drucken läßt ohne sich darüber ausweisen zu können. Die Strafe ist nach
Wechselrecht an die Armencasse im Wohnort des Strafbaren zu zahlen.


      Compositionen, die in England und Frankreich erscheinen, ohne daß sie einem Verleger
für Deutschland überlassen worden sind, können ferner nach Belieben durch Abdruck vervielfältigt
werden, doch versteht sich nach vorigem Paragraphen von selbst, daß die Bemerkung "Eigenthum
des Verlegers“
nicht auf dem Titel kommen kann.


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