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Memorandum of the Batavian Republic restricting the copying and selling of State Documents, The Hague (1805)

Source: Verzameling van vaderlandsche wetten en besluiten uitgevaardigd sedert 22 Januarij 1798 tot 10 Julij 1810, in zooverre zij ook, sedert de invoering der nieuwe wetgeving in Nederland, middellijk of onmiddellijk van toepassing zijn, J. van de Poll ed., Amsterdam: Bij Johannes Müller, 1840, I, pp. 296-298; Koninklijke Bibliotheek, NL 61 C 2003

Memorandum of the Batavian Republic restricting the copying and selling of State Documents, The Hague (1805), 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

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The Memorandum of 13 Dec. 1805, regarding the prohibited copying of the works published by the State Printing House is an addition, or rather an interpretation and explanation of the Official Publication of 3 June 1803 (see above page 211).
It provides that all State documents published by the State Printing House are the property of the State, and therefore may not be reproduced without offense. With the DECREE of 2nd July 1822, relating to the causing to be printed and published of State Documents by private persons (Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees No. 16), is provided that the copying of State Documents is permitted, unless the right of publication were to have been reserved for the benefit of the State Printing House, or were to have been granted special licenses or patents.In these latter cases, the Decree orders that copying will be punished according to customary law (see Act of 25 Jan. 1817,

Chapter 1 Page 2

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Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees No. 5).[1] Since the Memorandum of 13 Dec. constitutes one whole with the Official Publication of 3 June 1803, we deem it necessary to cause it to be printed here.

MEMORANDUM of His High Mightiness, representing the Batavian Commonwealth, providing, under certain conditions, provisions against the copying and selling of all such State Documents, as those that are printed and published by the State Printing House of the Batavian Republic. Adopted on the 13th of December 1805.

His High Mightiness, representing the Batavian commonwealth, having encountered that on account of the erroneous understanding that the Official Publication of the State Government of the 3rd of June 1803, would not apply to the State documents being sold and published by the State Printing House, several Residents do not deny themselves to copy those State documents and to sell them; or that on account thereof no Action against the infringers is instituted by the Public Prosecutors; -- notifies that the regulations against copying, laid down in aforesaid Publication of the 3rd of June 1803, also include all State documents, printed and published by the State Printing House of the Batavian Republic, as having to be taken as a property of the Batavian People, printed at its expense, and published for the benefit of its finances; -- consequently all Public Prosecutors and Judicial Officers are most earnestly ordered and admonished to most seriously monitor all infringements thereof, with regard to the copying as well as the selling, after the date of this Memorandum, and to observe the right of the Batavian People; however, that Writers of Gazettes will be free to include those State documents in their Newspapers; and after having obtained consent, these will be allowed to be copied into all Works, relating to the History and State Studies of this commonwealth.

Ordering accordingly that this will be published and put

[1] See S.P.Lipman, Master of Law, Research regarding the lawfulness of Royal Decrees of 2 and 30 July 1822 and 18 June 1829.

Chapter 1 Page 3

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up, everywhere where this is customary; with order to all it may concern, to duly comply therewith.
Done in the Hague, 13th December 1805.
(Was signed)
Foreign Secretary
(Under the authority of)
In name of.
The General Secretary of State.
(Was countersigned)

Translation by: Miluska Kooij


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