Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 June 2019
This chapter traces the origins of performing artists’ rights and criticizes certain concepts of performing rights. After noting the reflections on performances by Plato and Aristotle, the author introduces Jean Baptiste Say’s discussion of value of the “industry of a musician or an actor,” and the important conclusions that followed by František Ladislav Rieger. The author explains that the idea of protecting performances by means of special laws was born in Central Europe in the early 1900s. Summarizing the first cases, beginning in 1899, and the statutes protecting performers by means of traditional authors’ rights in Germany (1910), Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, the author compares the situation to that in the United Kingdom, which offered only criminal-law like protection, and the United States, with its fragmented case law. Finally, the author explains that the new feature of neighbouring rights and the exclusive rights of performers were “invented” by the Austrian legislator, followed, after World War II, by Czechoslovakia as the second country in the world where this was achieved, notwithstanding constant Soviet surveillance.