Leopold Josef Neustetel 1798-1825
Leopold Josef Neustetel was born on 8 August, 1798, in Offenbach-am-Main (or Hanover, according to another source) and died in Nice on 24 January, 1825. His treatise was published only a few months before his premature death. In 1818, he had obtained a doctorate in canon and civil law in Heidelberg and was then registered as a supreme court attorney (Obergerichtsprokurator) in Hanau. His thesis (which, as was still the practice in those days, Neustetel wrote and defended in Latin) was entitled: Bona-fide transactions, entered upon where the other party had fraudulent intentions, are not null and void”.
It should be noted here that the Heidelberg Law Faculty adopted a markedly liberal approach: Jewish doctoral candidates were matriculated and awarded degrees just like their Christian counterparts in those years. This was the case with Neustetel and his friends Sigmund Zimmern and Eduard Gans. All three brilliant men became believers in the Messiah of Israel, and given the liberal approach of the Heidelberg university it would be hard to claim that this was due to pecuniary motives
On 29 August, 1821, after an engagement lasting three years, Leopold was married, according to the law of Moses, to his friend’s sister Regine Zimmern (1800-70). They had two daughters, Mathilde (b.1822) and Emma (b.1823).
Regine, who had been exposed to Christianity in high school, and whose elder brother had become a Christian, influenced her husband to consider the claims of Jesus of Nazareth. While still young he fell deathly ill, and during his illness was visied by an evangelical pastor. He came to faith on his deathbed, and desired to show his faith in baptism. He died before he could do so, but in respect to his wishes, his wife accorded him a Christian burial. She herself came to faith two years later.
[Anonymous], Reflexionen über den Büchernachdruck: besonders zur Gewinnung eines neuen Gesichtspunktes in Betreff seiner Widerrechtlichkeit (Heidelberg: Neue Akademische Buchhandlung, 1823)
Braun, J., “Sigmund Zimmern (1796-1830) – ein deutsch-jüdisches Gelehrtenschicksal daragestellt anhand von Auszügen aus Akten und Briefen”, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte 106 (1991): 210-236
Gieseke, L., Vom Privileg zum Urheberrecht. Die Entwicklung des Urheberrechts in Deutschland bis 1845 (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1995)
Kawohl, F. (2008) ‘Commentary on Leopold Josef Neustetel, The Reprinting of Books (Heidelberg, 1824), in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org
Neustetel, L. J., Bonae fidei negotia dolo inita non esse nulla / auctore Leopoldo Josepho Neustetel (Heidelberg 1818)
Neustetel, L. J. and S. Zimmern, Römisch-rechtliche Untersuchungen für Wissenschaft und Ausübung (Heidelberg: Carl Groos 1821)
Vogel, M., “Deutsche Urheber- und Verlagsrechtsgeschichte zwischen 1450 und 1850”, Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 29 (1978): 1-180
Wadle, E., “Nachdruck als Injurie”, in his Geistiges Eigentum. Bausteine zur Rechtsgeschichte (Weinheim: VCH, 1996), 129-144