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Privilege for the Deux-Aes Bible (1579)

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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

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Identifiers: nl_1579 and nl_1584

 

Commentary on the privilege for the Deux-Aes Bible and the privilege for Squaring of the Circle

Marius Buning

Dahlem Humanities Centre, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

 

Please cite as:

Buning, M. (2018) 'Commentary on the privilege for the Deux-Aes Bible (1579) and the privilege for Squaring of the Circle (1584)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

 

1. Full Title

2. Abstract

3. The emergence of a Dutch system of printing privileges

4. The printing privilege for the Deux-Aes Bible

5. The privilege for Squaring of the Circle

6. Printing privileges in the early Dutch Republic

7. References

 

 

1. Full title

Bible: that is The entire Holy Scripture, thoroughly and faithfully translated into Dutch, Delft: Aelbert Hendricksz, 1579

Simon du Chesne, Squaring of the circle or the manner of finding an equal square in a given circle, Delft: Albert Henry, 1584

 

2. Abstract

 

The privilege that Aelbrecht Heyndrickszoon obtained for publishing a Dutch translation of the Deux-Aes Bible was one of the first printing privileges granted in the Dutch territory after the Union of Utrecht of 23 January 1579. It was issued by the States of Holland. In this commentary, this privilege is contrasted with the privilege for printing a booklet about the Squaring of the Circle, which was granted a few years later, in 1584, by the independent Dutch States-General. After a brief introduction to the political events of the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648), this commentary elaborates on the division of powers between the States of Holland and the States-General as the authorities in charge of granting printing privileges, thus drawing a general picture of the administrative procedures and privilege policies in the early days of the Dutch Republic.

 

3. The emergence of a Dutch system of printing privileges

 

3.1. Setting the stage: The Dutch Revolt

 

When Philip II (1527-1598) succeeded his father Charles V (1500-1558) in 1555, little changed in terms of printing policy in the Habsburg Netherlands. Administrative control over the attribution of printing privileges remained largely under the supervision of the central authorities in Brussels (see the commentary on 1516 Document). But social unrest in the Burgundian Provinces was seething and dramatically accumulated in the Iconoclastic Fury of 1566, when Protestants from the Southern Provinces in a burst of anger descended upon catholic churches to destroy every form of religious imagery. Philip II reacted by appointing his army general Fernando Álvarez Duke of Alva (1507-1582) as the new Governor for the Burgundian domains. The Duke of Alva reigned with an iron fist. Among others, he set up a Council of Troubles (Bloedraad) to put the King's opponents on trial. However, this only strengthened the resistance. Among the rebels was William the Silent, Prince of Orange (1533-1584), a former right-hand man of Charles V, who had retreated to his estate in Dillenburg (Nassau, present-day Germany) at the ascension of Alva. During a meeting in Dordt in July 1572, he was elected as the new Stadtholder and Governor-General of the provinces Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Utrecht. Effectively, he thus became the leader of the revolt against Philip II.

 

In 1579, with the appointment of Alessandro Farnese Duke of Parma (1545-1592) as the new Governor of the Burgundian Lands,[i] the revolt definitely shifted its focus to the Northern Provinces. The Duke of Parma returned a number of privileges to the Walloon nobles in his accession to office, which resulted in several Southern Provinces expressing their loyalty to Philip II by signing the Union of Arras on 6 January 1579. As an immediate reaction, the Northern provinces united themselves in the Union of Utrecht of 23 January 1579, which can be characterized as a 'founding charter' of the Dutch Republic.[ii] However, a genuine separation between the North and the South – in part still corresponding with the current national borders between The Netherlands and Belgium – would not occur until 1648, when in the Treaty of Münster, by which the peace was signed, the Spanish Habsburg officially recognized the Dutch Republic as an independent state.

 

3.2. Privilege granting authorities in the early days of the Dutch Republic

 

In the years following the Union of Utrecht, the political power apparatus of the later Republic still had to be invented. The Dutch Republic, also known as the United Provinces, was established as a confederation of seven provinces (i.e. Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel, Friesland, and Groningen). Each of the seven provinces had a representative in the States-General, the confederate government of the Republic. Despite having a central government, however, the confederation was loosely organized and much of the political powers remained with the towns and the provinces. Each province, in fact, had its own government, the States, which operated very independently. Yet, within the political order of the Dutch Republic, the States of Holland took a dominant position, which can be explained in part by historic reasons, including their role in building the Republic, and because of the economic and cultural importance of Holland.

 

Likewise, in terms of their authority to grant privileges, the exact power division between the central and provincial authorities was still unresolved. In theory, it seems that each of the States of the seven provinces had the executive and judicial power to issue privileges. We know for a fact that at least the States of Holland granted printing privileges.[iii] Illustrative is the privilege for printing the so-called Deux-Aes Bible, which the States of Holland granted in May 1579, just a few months after the Union of Utrecht, to the Delft-based printer Aelbrecht Heyndrickszoon. Before long, however, the States-General also began to issue printing privileges, as the privilege granted to Simon de Chesne in 1584 exemplifies. In fact, as will be explained below, the States-General would become the most important organ in Dutch privilege politics of the first quarter of the seventeenth century.

This commentary will first put these two documents in their respective contexts before returning to the administrative procedures of privilege policies in the early days of the Dutch Republic.

 

4. The printing privilege for the Deux-Aes Bible

 

On 21 May 1579, the States of Holland issued a privilege to the Delft-based printer Aelbrecht Heyndrickszoon for the publication of a Dutch translation of the Deux-Aes Bible in folio.[iv] Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the granting of the two-year privilege are poorly documented: the privilege is only known from the preface to the work and has not been recorded in the resolutions of the States of Holland.[v] Although the States of Holland issued printing privileges before, Heyndrickszoon's privilege was, as far as we know, the first printing privilege issued independently by a Dutch authority,  without any reference to landlord Philip II.[vi]

 

Bible translations had a long tradition by the time the Dutch Republic came into being, and Heyndrickszoon was clearly familiar with the earlier editions that had appeared on the market.[vii] In his preface to the reader, he indicated that his publication was based on the so-called Deux-Aes Bible, which was a famous protestant Bible translation first issued in 1562.[viii] Heyndrickszoon claimed that, because of the success of this Bible translation into Dutch, there were "no or insufficient copies for sale anymore."[ix] This prompted him to prepare a new edition of the work, eager as he was to spread the word of God in the vernacular. The States of Holland, understanding the importance of having a protestant Bible translation put to the press at the height of the Dutch Revolt, agreed approvingly.

 

Yet, Heyndrickszoon was not given protection exclusively. Less than a month after obtaining his privilege, the States of Holland granted another printing privilege for a Deux-Aes Bible to Jan Canin, a Ghentenaar who was in charge of a powerful printing company in Dordrecht.[x] The innovative feature of Canin's edition was that it contained, in addition to the printed text, a number of maps from the Geneva Bible.[xi] One day later, the States of Holland also issued a privilege for printing a Deux-Aes Bible to the printers Cornelis Jansz Vennecool and Peeter Verhaghen.[xii] The novelty of their edition was that, next to the maps from the Geneva Bible, it contained some additional illustrations.

 

The fact that the authorities issued three separate privileges for the same Bible translation shows that, instead of protecting the efforts to create the translation, these privileges protected the design and layout of the Bible. Within this context, the importance that was placed on the materiality rather than the contents of the book becomes even clearer from the fact that, on 21 January 1580, Vennecool and Verhaghen obtained an amendment to their privilege, which extended their rights to print the Bible to formats other than folio.[xiii]


Interestingly, in addition to the privilege granted by the States of Holland, Vennecool and Verhaghen also sought to obtain a privilege from the Council of Brabant, which was issued on 1 February 1580. The reason for this was unmistakably the territoriality of protection: the privilege issued by the States of Holland was valid only in the Province of Holland, the Brabantian privilege only in the Duchy of Brabant. To guarantee optimal protection, the printers chose to publish the two privileges side by side. A salient detail in this case was that the privilege issued by the Brabant authorities was granted in the name of Philip II. In reality, however, it was probably issued without Philip II’s knowledge by Matthias of Austria (1557-1619), the later Holy Roman Emperor, who acted in name as the governor of the revolting provinces in the Low Countries during the years 1578-1581.[xiv]

 

The privilege issued to Verhaghen and Vennecool would not be the last privilege for Bible translations in the emerging Dutch Republic.[xv] In 1581, another translation appeared on the market in Leiden, in folio, again with a double privilege for Brabant and Holland.[xvi] The point of granting temporary monopoly rights to these Bible translations was to offer a financial guarantee to produce specific editions that would otherwise remain unprinted, because they demanded large investments in terms of time (for arrangements, editing, typesetting) and money (the inclusion of images, paper quality, and so on). The authorities thus, indirectly, sponsored the publication of material that they considered worthy of being spread. It was not until much later in the seventeenth century that it would no longer be possible to secure exclusive rights for the production for Bible translations, which by then slowly began to make their way into what we now would call the 'public domain' (See the commentary on the Statenvertaling).

 

5. The privilege for Squaring of the Circle

 

The previous section showed how, amidst the constitutional confusion following the Union of Utrecht, the States of Holland took the first initiative to issue printing privileges without making any reference to Philip II as sovereign landlord. Eventually, however, not the States of Holland, but the Dutch States-General would become the most important official body to grant printing privileges during the early years of the Republic.

 

The States-General was a remnant of the Habsburg-Burgundian period, whose function was thoroughly reinterpreted after the Dutch declared their independence from Philip II by the 1581 Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlaethinge). Originally a space for negotiations between the Burgundian overlord and the provinces, the States-General soon began to function as the central and coordinating authority in which each of the seven provinces that constituted the Republic were represented with one vote.

 

Even if some provinces continued to occasionally issue privileges in their own name, the States-General clearly took charge of privilege policies in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, taking over the tasks that had previously fallen under the responsibility of the authorities in Brussels and Spain. The distribution of urban printing privileges, i.e. privileges granted by urban authorities and only valid within the city walls, fell into disuse soon after the Union of Utrecht (for the pre-existing situation, see 'Commentary on the privilege for the Divisiekroniek (1516)'). If they were issued at all, it was mostly for the production of materials that were clearly of local importance, such as schoolbooks intended for use in municipal Latin schools.

 

The reason for the shift of power from the individual provinces to the federal authorities was probably in part related to an on-going process of state formation. Especially in the first decades of Dutch independence, the States-General was still seen as an institution that guaranteed the unity of the Seven Provinces, instead of merely representing the interests of one particular province (even if it must be said that, in reality, the position of Holland was particularly dominant). At the same time, there might have been a very practical reason from the point of view of the applicants to apply for a printing privilege at the federal level. Whereas a provincial privilege was only valid in one particular province, a privilege granted by the States-General was valid in each of the Seven Provinces.[xvii] This might have been an important motive for why printers and authors preferred a privilege granted by the States-General to a privilege granted by the provincial authorities: the latter would theoretically not protect them against reprints produced in a neighboring province.[xviii]

 

One of the earliest privileges issued by the States-General was the ten-year privilege for a booklet about the squaring of the circle, written by Simon van der Eycke.[xix] Little is known about the author, except that he was born in Dôles, that he "lived in Delft in 1584, and that he was still alive in 1630."[xx] Van der Eycke wrote his tract in French, which at the time was still the official language of the young Republic, and he dedicated his booklet to the Prince of Orange William the Silent, who, as the Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland effectively had become the leader of the Dutch Revolt. The privilege issued to Van der Eycke on 21 February 1584 gave the author the possibility to publish his booklet "by any printer he deemed apt."[xxi] Van der Ecke then chose to have his work printed by Albert Henry, the official printer of the States of Holland. It seems, for that matter, that Van der Eycke maintained good contacts with the official authorities. This is corroborated by the fact that he obtained another privilege, in 1595, for his ideas regarding the solution to the longitude problem and later managed to obtain, in 1603, a patent from the States-General for his invention of a new type of wood-cutting mill.[xxii]

 

6. Printing privileges in the early Dutch Republic

 

The procedure to obtain exclusive printing rights started when an applicant filed a request at the relevant authorities, setting out the reasons why he considered certain material worthy of privilege. Those reasons were diverse; like in other European countries, however, the justification most frequently encountered in the resolutions of the relevant authorities was to reward the labor invested in the work and to protect the printer against unjust competition in the form of pirate editions.[xxiii] An illustration of this line of reasoning can be found in the justification of the privilege issued to Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer (1533/34-1605/06) for the publication of his famous Mariner's Mirrour (Spieghel der zeevaerdt, Leiden: Plantijn, 1584-1585). The States of Holland recorded that:

 

[Wagenaer] intends to publish and have printed a remarkable Chart-book, called the Mirror of Navigation and containing many different charts which are very well and artistically executed. And that he, in addition to the greatest possible work having been done on this, will be obliged to bear his exceptionally high costs for having these charts engraved on copper plates. And therefore fears that someone else, to his complete ruin, should be able to copy or reprint or otherwise shall have more or less the same examples cut in wood with less cost or make a small change in them by enlarging or diminishing of their size or in another manner, so as to profit by the industry, work and difficulties of another, through his insatiable avarice to the complete ruin of his neighbour, which is contrary to all right and reason.[xxiv]

 

Printing privileges were thus primarily intended to limit the commercial risks of the printer who engaged in printing valuable books or other printed matter. Still, privileges were not exclusively issued to printers; authors and translators could also apply for printing privileges, particularly when they acted as their own publishers.[xxv] The privilege granted to Simon de Chesne in 1584 perfectly illustrates this.

 

According to calculations of Isabelle-Harriette van Eeghen, the States of Holland issued roughly 45 printing privileges in the period 1581-1629, whereas the total number of printing privileges issued by the States-General were no less than 290, i.e. on average about 5 to 10 per year.[xxvi] The costs for obtaining a privilege from the States of Holland were about 30 guilders.[xxvii] The costs for a privilege issued by the States-General are as yet unknown. The penalty for infringement was similar for both provincial and federal privileges: it generally consisted of the confiscation of as the counterfeit copies and a monetary fine. For most of the seventeenth century, the monetary fine varied, with a few peaks, between 10 and 300 guilders, to be divided in three equal parts between the privilege owner, the officer of justice, and the poor. In addition, a printing privilege often prohibited the import of counterfeit printed materials from abroad. In practical terms, therefore, the system of printing privileges in the Dutch Republic operated in a very similar fashion to the earlier privilege system under the rule of the Spanish Habsburgs.

 

7. References

Armstrong, Elizabeth. Before Copyright: The French Book-Privilege System, 1498-1526. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Bierens de Haan, David. Bouwstoffen Voor de Geschiedenis Der Wis- En Natuurkundige Wetenschappen. Amsterdam: s.n., 1878.

Doorman, Gerard. Octrooien Voor Uitvindingen in de Nederlanden Uit de 16e-18e Eeuw Met Bespreking van Enkele Onderwerpen Uit de Geschiedenis Der Techniek. (Eerste Aanvullingen). The Hague: Nijhoff, 1942.

Fontaine Verwey, H. de la. Uit de Wereld van Het Boek II: Drukkers, Liefhebbers En Piraten in de Zeventiende Eeuw. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Nico Isreal, 1980.

Ginsburg, Jane C. “Proto-Property in Literary and Artistic Works: Sixteenth-Century Papal Printing Privileges.” Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 36, no. 3 (2013): 345–458.

Hoftijzer, Paul. “Nederlandse Boekverkopersprivileges in de 17e En 18e Eeuw.” Jaarboek Nederlands Genootschap Van Bibliofielen, 1993, 49–62.

Koeman, C. The History of Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer: And His “Spieghel Der Zeevaerdt.” Lausanne: Sequoia, 1964.

Le Long, Isaac. Boekzaal der Nederduitsche bijbels. Hoorn: T. Tjallingius, 1764.

Pettegree, Andrew, and Malcolm Walsby. Netherlandish Books (NB) (2 Vols): Books Published in the Low Countries and Dutch Books Printed Abroad Before 1601. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Price, John Leslie. Holland and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Politics of Particularism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

Van Eeghen, Isabella Henriette. De Amsterdamse Boekhandel 1680-1725. Vol. 5 part 1. 1978 vols. Amsterdam: Scheltema & Holkema, 1978.

Verwey, Herman de La Fontaine. “De Statenbijbel En de Drukkers: De Strijd Tegen Een Monopolie.” In Plus Est En Vous: Opstellen over Recht En Cultuur, Aangeboden Aan Prof. Mr. A. Pitlo Ter Gelegenheid van Zijn 25-Jarig Hoogleraarschap, edited by H.C.F. Schoordijk, G.C.J.J van den Bergh, and J.A. Ankum, 441–56. Haarlem: Tjeenk Willink, 1970.

 



[i] After the departure of the Duke of Alva, Luis de Zúñiga y Requesens (1528-1576) had been the governor of the Netherlands, followed by John of Austria (1547-1578), an illegitimate son of Charles V. The Duke of Parma succeeded to John of Austria.

[ii] John Leslie Price, Holland and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Politics of Particularism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 221. Southern cities like Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp later joined the Union of Utrecht.

[iii] Thus far, the only systematic information concerning printing privileges in the Dutch Republic relates to the privileges issued by the States of Holland and the States-General. It is very well possible that other provinces, such as Zeeland or Friesland, independently issued printing privileges too.

[iv] The penalty for infringement of the printing privilege consisted of the confiscation of counterfeit copies plus a fine of three guilders for every confiscated book. Information about the privilege for Heyndrickszoon can be found in: Isabella Henriette Van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse Boekhandel 1680-1725, vol. 5 part 1 (Amsterdam: Scheltema & Holkema, 1978), 194; H. de la Fontaine Verwey, Uit de Wereld van Het Boek II: Drukkers, Liefhebbers En Piraten in de Zeventiende Eeuw, 2nd ed. (Amsterdam: Nico Isreal, 1980), 81–82; Herman de La Fontaine Verwey, “De Statenbijbel En de Drukkers: De Strijd Tegen Een Monopolie,” in Plus Est En Vous: Opstellen over Recht En Cultuur, Aangeboden Aan Prof. Mr. A. Pitlo Ter Gelegenheid van Zijn 25-Jarig Hoogleraarschap, ed. H.C.F. Schoordijk, G.C.J.J van den Bergh, and J.A. Ankum (Haarlem: Tjeenk Willink, 1970), 444. In 1582, Heyndrickszoon became the official printer of the States of Holland; in 1590, he took up the same post for the States-General.

[v] Van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse Boekhandel, 5 part 1:194. It is worth noting that the preface to the Bible was dated on 21 March. Hence, Heyndrickszoon had started printing before the privilege was secured and there are several known copies of the book without privilege. Fontaine Verwey, Uit de Wereld van Het Boek II: Drukkers, Liefhebbers En Piraten in de Zeventiende Eeuw, 81.

[vi] Van Eeghen V: 194.

[vii] Several of the early printed Bible translations from the beginning of the sixteenth century had been produced under privilege. In particular, the so-called Liesveldt edition had made a lasting impression and it was widely used by Protestants in the Low Lands all throughout the sixteenth century. The Liesveldt Bible was the first complete translation in the vernacular, printed in 1522. It had been based on Luther’s translation of the New Testament and the Vulgate and several other translations for the Old Testament. The printer was beheaded in 1545 because of Lutheran sympathies.

[viii] The translation that appeared in the Deux-Aes Bible printed in 1562 by Gillis van der Erve was produced under the auspices of Godfried van Winghen and Johannes Dyrckinus, who wanted to provide a revision of the Liesveldt Bible. For the Old Testament, the editors chose to use the Zürich Bible and the Luther translation. For the New Testament, the editors used the original text, the translation by Calvin and the Latin translation by Beza. Characteristic for the Deux-Aes bible were the glossae that were copied from Luther, who wanted to spread the word of God by means of popular comparison. The Deux-Aes Bible got its nickname from one of the annotations made by Luther on Nehemiah 3,5b, which referred to a game of dice. Fontaine Verwey, Uit de Wereld van Het Boek II: Drukkers, Liefhebbers En Piraten in de Zeventiende Eeuw, 99, note 3.

[ix] “[…] gheen ofte weynige meer te koop en zijn […]”. See: nl_1579. In fact, the Heyndrickszoon’s ‘Bible of Delft’ was a literal reprint of the second edition of the Deux-Aes Bible from 1565.

[x] The three-year privilege was issued on 29 June 1579. It contained a fine of 100 gouden kronen for infringement and confiscation of counterfeited copies.

[xi] The edition prepared by Canin would eventually appear in 1580, in folio. See also Isaac Le Long, Boekzaal der Nederduitsche bijbels (Hoorn: T. Tjallingius, 1764), 747–50.

[xii] The seven-year privilege was issued on 30 June 1579, containing again a fine of 100 gouden kronen for infringment and confiscation of counterfeited books. The book was issued as a folio in 1583.

[xiii] The privilege was first used for the publication of Biblia, dat is de gantsche Heylighe Schrift. Dordrecht, Peeter Verhaghen, 1581. 4°.

[xiv] The Archduke Matthias of Austria, a member of the Austrian wing of the Habsburg dynasty, was appointed by the States-General to govern the revolting provinces in the Low Countries together with the Council of State. Philip II did not recognize his legitimacy.

[xv] An overview of Bibles produced in this period can be found in Andrew Pettegree and Malcolm Walsby, Netherlandish Books (NB) (2 Vols): Books Published in the Low Countries and Dutch Books Printed Abroad Before 1601, vol. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 175–76.

[xvi] The printers Jan Paets Jacobsz en Jan Bouwensz had managed to obtain a privilege from the States of Holland on 9 April 1580, and on 9 May 1580 from the Council of Brabant. For information about this privilege, see Verwey, “De Statenbijbel,” 445. The novelty of the edition by Jacobsz and Bouwensz was that Luthers annotations had been replaced. Strictly speaking, we are thus speaking of a Deux-Aes Bible without the Deux-Aes! The fine for infringement was set at 50 gouden realen.

[xvii] On this point the new rulers followed the practices that had been in place under Habsburg Burgundian rule, see the commentary on NL_1516.

[xviii] However, Paul Hoftijzer has suggested that printing privileges issued by the States of Holland were de facto respected elsewhere in Republic as well. Paul Hoftijzer, “Nederlandse Boekverkopersprivileges in de 17e En 18e Eeuw,” Jaarboek Nederlands Genootschap Van Bibliofielen, 1993, 55.

[xix] Quadrature du cercle ou maniere de trouver un quarre egual ay cercle donne. Delft, Henry Albert, 1584. 4°. About Simon van der Eycke (also Simon du Chesne, or Simon à Quercu), see David Bierens de Haan, Bouwstoffen Voor de Geschiedenis Der Wis- En Natuurkundige Wetenschappen (Amsterdam: s.n., 1878), 99–116 (VII). For the privilege, see: nl_1584.

[xx] “in 1584 te Delft woonde, en dat hij in 1603 nog leefde….” Ibid., 100 (translation MB).

[xxi] “[…] par tel Imprimeur que bon luy semblera.” The privilege, as well as the booklet, was written in French; Dutch only became the standard language of the States-General after their definitive settlement in The Hague in 1584. The dedication letter was dated on 28 February 1584; William the Silent would later that year, on 19 July 1584, be shot by Balthasar Gerards (ca.1557-1584).

[xxii] Gerard Doorman, Octrooien Voor Uitvindingen in de Nederlanden Uit de 16e-18e Eeuw Met Bespreking van Enkele Onderwerpen Uit de Geschiedenis Der Techniek. (Eerste Aanvullingen) (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1942), 281. The States of Holland decided to set up a committee to examine the invention; compare Doorman, 102. For the privilege for Van der Ecke’s wood-cutting mill, see Doorman, 111.

[xxiii] See, for example Elizabeth Armstrong, Before Copyright: The French Book-Privilege System, 1498-1526 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 78–91; Jane C Ginsburg, “Proto-Property in Literary and Artistic Works: Sixteenth-Century Papal Printing Privileges,” Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 36, no. 3 (2013): 367–76.

[xxiv] C Koeman, The History of Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer: And His “Spieghel Der Zeevaerdt” (Lausanne: Sequoia, 1964), 57. Translation by Koeman. The Spieghel der zeevaerdt appeared in 1584 and 1585, in folio, in Plantin’s Leiden print shop.

[xxv] Van Eeghen argued that any author was free to petition for a privilege on his own behalf; however, there is no definitive consensus or proof on this issue yet. Van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse Boekhandel, 5 part 1:212–13.

[xxvi] Van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse Boekhandel, 5 part 1:193. The numbers by Van Eeghen are the most reliable, specifically for the first quarter of the seventeenth century. According to an estimation by Hoftijzer for the period 1585-1650, the central authorities gave out 400 privileges vs. 185 privileges granted by the States of Holland. Hoftijzer, “Nederlandse Boekverkopersprivileges,” 55. The difference can in part be explained by the fact that the States of Holland issued most of its privileges after 1632, which is outside the period considered by Van Eeghen. It should be noted, however, that accurate figures cannot be produced, not only because the archives are incomplete for this period, but also because some printing privileges were issued without being recorded in the resolutions of the States.

[xxvii] References to the stamp duties for obtaining a book privilege can be found in Van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse Boekhandel, 5 part 1:222–223. Up till now, only two cases have come to light: Van Eeghen mentions two book privileges granted by the States of Holland in the period 1670-1669, which cost 20 and 40 guilders respectively.


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