Beiträge zur Frage geistigen Eigentums
Edited By Paul Ferstl and Stefan Wedrac
DANIEL SYROVY Copyright infringement or creative impulse? Avellaneda’s continuation of Don Quijote 209
DANIEL SYROVY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT OR CREATIVE IMPULSE? AVELLANEDA’S CONTINUA TION OF DON QUIJOTE I Talking about copyright infringement in 17th century Spain is of course an anachronism . The privilegio, a decree of the king that prohibited pirated editions for a certain timespan (10 or 20 years, for instance) was indeed a means of protecting a literary text . But even then, with today’s Spain being split into several kingdoms (of which one would have needed separate privilegios, a long and difficult procedure in itself, to get full protection), and the widely used possibility of print- ing pirated editions abroad, there was little in the way of a guarantee for either author or printer .22 That, in any case, concerned complete texts only, and the idea that a plot or even a character would be somehow the legal property of an author, was altogether unheard of . Of course, this does not mean that all is fair game . Yet, when we try to (re-)assess the relationship between Miguel de Cervan- tes’ Don Quijote and its spurious continuation, the Quijote by Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda (1614), we should first of all strip away all our preconceptions of, and prejudice against the phenomenon . And 22 Cf . Jaime Moll, Problemas bibliográficos del libro del Siglo de Oro, http://www .cervantesvirtual .com/servlet/ SirveObras/80237397808796384100080/p0000001 .htm (‚El privilegio‘) . 210 Daniel Syrovy prejudice there is, not too little of it: the attitude of most cervantistas towards Avellaneda is one of a certain moral outrage, denouncing as a...
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