Book: Napoleonic Code
The author is finally given his due rights: the Napoleonic Code with addenda and commercial laws as the law of the Grand Duchy of Baden, published by the Müller publishing house in Karlsruhe, 1809
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Photograph: Michael Setzpfandt


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Every written treatise is the original property of the person who authored it, if he did not create it solely as part of an external commission and for the advantage of others, in which case it is the property of the commissioning party.

Code Napoléon, Land-Recht für das Großherzogtum Baden, 1809, Satz 577 d a.

Copyright is the exclusive right an author has to his or her own intellectual creations. The author decides on the type, form and point in time for publishing and grants the publisher the corresponding rights of use, which must be paid for. Copyright can only be transferred to another person as part of an inheritance. In the technical commercial sector (Technology, Businesses) we speak of patents, utility patents and trademarks.

The German version of the Code Civil or Napoleon Code made copyright law on German territory for the first time. The Code came into force in France in 1804 and was published as the law of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1809, constituting an important collection of laws and practical instructions for courts in the whole of France’s sphere of influence. In its extensive presentation of civil law, it laid down civil rights of freedom in the spirit of the French Revolution which still continue to influence legislation in today’s liberal democracies.