# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer




Supreme Court on Artistic Copyright, Madrid (1872)

Source: Archivo del Tribunal Supremo

Supreme Court on Artistic Copyright, Madrid (1872), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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6 translated pages

Chapter 1 Page 1

            Valencia - Number three hundred and thirty-five.
      In the City of Madrid on 12 November 1872,
      Mr. Pedro Luis Bru lodges before us a cassation
      appeal for an infringement of the law against
      the judgment passed by the Criminal Court of Valencia
      following the case before the District Court of
      the same town against Mr. Luis Luis Genovés y Burguet
      for literary property fraud.
      Whereas under special commission
      Mr. Pedro Luis Bru designed and directed a catafalque
      that was placed in the church of Las Escuelas in the
      above-mentioned city in the memory of the victims
      of the events that took place in October 1869.
      [Judges- Members of the Supreme Court]
      Sebastián González Nandin
      Manuel María de Basualdo
      Miguel Zorrilla
      Manuel Almonaci
      Antonio Valdés de Angulo
      Francisco Armesto
      Diego Fernández Cano

Chapter 1 Page 2

       Whereas the same persons,
      and in order to give and to preserve their memory,
      he was also commissioned to produce the drawing
      and lithography of the catafalque; but before Bru
      did so, another drawing and lithography of the same
      catafalque had been made by Mr. Luis Genovés
      and they were being sold in the said city. They had
      been submitted on two sheets to the Civil Government,
      declaring that, for the purposes of the law of 1847,
      he was the author.
      Whereas later on Mr Pe-
      dro Luis Bru deposited two other sheets
      before the same authority; and consequently it was
      ordered that the sale of the lithographic copies
      of the catafalque be suspended until there was a
      legal decision as to who was the legal owner.
      Whereas on 17 November
      a written formal complaint was submitted on behalf of
      Bru against Genovés, qualifying the crime
      to be literary property fraud

Chapter 1 Page 3

       Having filed and processed the action,
      the above-mentioned tribunal decided,
      declaring that the proven facts were not
      a crime. In so doing they rejected the
      decision of the lower court and decided to
      acquit Genovés, declaring that costs shall
      be borne by the court.
      Whereas a cassation appeal
      for violation of the law was lodged on behalf of Mr. Pedro Luis
      Bru against the decision grounded on the second paragraph of art. 4
      of the provisional that establishes and refers to art. 552 of the
      current Penal Code as having been infringed
      since what had been declared was not an act that in fact
      constituted a crime of literary property fraud.
      Whereas chamber 2 of this Supreme
      Court admitted the appeal and sent it to chamber 3,
      where it has been heard in accordance with the law.
       Verified by the presiding Magistrate

Chapter 1 Page 4

      Mr Antonio Valdés.
      Considering that, although painters and sculptors
      property rights to reproduce their works by engraving
      or by any other method in the same manner as authors
      and translators do have rights in their literary works,
      according to para. 5 of art. 3 of the Law of 1847,
      when observing the formalities prescribed therein,
      the same does not apply when a sketch has been made
      and commissioned by one or more persons so it is
      at their free disposal as if it were their own.
      Considering that Mr. Genovés drew and lithographed
      a catafalque that belonged to third parties under licence issued
      by the Mayor of Barrio who intervened in its
      construction before Bru could do so and that he submitted
      two copies to the Civil Government, as required in order to
      enjoy the benefits granted by the aforementioned law,

Chapter 1 Page 5

      it cannot be said that he committed the fraud alleged.
      Therefore, this Chamber, having considered
      the proven facts and declared that they do not
      constitute a crime, acquits Mr. Genovés since a mistake
      under paragraph two of art 4 of the law on Criminal Cassation
      or a violation of art. 552 of the Penal Code
      was not committed.
      We hereby declare and should declare that
      there is no cause for a cassation appeal for any violation
      lodged against the judgment of the Criminal Court of Valencia
      published on 30 March last. We hereby order the appellant
      Mr. Pedro Luis Bru to pay the legal costs.
      Therefore, this is our judgment that shall be published in the
      Madrid Gazette and

Chapter 1 Page 6

      included in the legislative series (Col. Legislativa)
      The necessary copies shall be made.
      We so state, order and sign.
      Sebastián González Nandin      Manuel María de Basualdo
      Miguel Zorrilla                  Manuel Almonaci
      Antonio Valdes             Francisco Armesto
                  Diego Fernández Cano

      Publication. The above decision was read
      and published by the Honourable, Mr Antonio Valdes,
      magistrate of the Supreme Court, holding public hearing in
      Courtoom 2, today, which I, the Secretary reporting to this Court
      hereby certify.
            Madrid 12 November 1872
                  Bartolomé Rodríguez

Translation by: Kay Leach


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