Ottaviano Petrucci's Music Patent, Venice (1498)

Source: scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, NC, reg. 14, fol. 170r.

Ottaviano Petrucci's Music Patent, Venice (1498), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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            Chapter 1 Page 1 of 1 total

      Most serene Prince and most illustrious Signory: since it is most widely reputed that
your Serenities, through your grants and privileges, invite and inspire ingenious minds
to think upon new inventions for the public benefit and the adornment of public life, among
those invited, Ottaviano dei Petrucci of Fossombrone, an inhabitant of this illustrious
City, a very ingenious man, has, at great expense and with most watchful care, invented
what many, not only in Italy but also outside of Italy, have long attempted in vain,
which is to print, most conveniently, Figured Music: and in consequence even more
easily Plainchant: a thing very important to the Christian Religion, a great
embellishment and exceedingly necessary: wherefore the aforementioned petitioner
seeks relief at the feet of your Most Illustrious Signory, pleading that the Signory
through its usual clemency and benignity deign to accord him, as first inventor, a
special grace, that, for twenty years no other be empowered to print figured music in the
land subject to Your Signory, nor tablatures for organ or lute, nor to import said things,
printed outside in any other place whatsoever, nor cause them to be imported or sold in
the territories or places under Your Sublime Signory, on pain of confiscation of said
works, printed by others, or imported from outside, and a fine of ten ducats for each
copy: of which [sum] half shall be donated to the hospital of St Anthony, and the
other half to the Franciscans of the New Mount [of Piety], and this he asks as a special
grace from Your Illustrious Signory to which he commends himself forever

                                                      1498, the 25th day of May

                              The above petition is granted on the terms therein set forth.

                                                The Councillors.
                                          Signore Marinus Leono.
                                          Signore Jeronimus Vendrameno.
                                          Signore Laurentius Venerio.
                                          Signore Dominicus Bollani. /



Serenissimo Principe, et illustrissima Signoria siando fama celebrattissima nostra serenità cum sue concessioni et priuilegii
            inuitare, et excitare li inzegni ad excogitare ogni di noue inuentioni qual habiano essere
            a commodita, et ornamento publico da questa inuitado Octauiano de i Petruci da Fosom-
            bron habitator in questa inclyta cita homo ingeniosissimo Cum molte sue spexe, et
            uigilantissima cura ha trouato quello, che molti non solo in Italia, ma etiando de fuora
            de Italia za longamente indarno hanno investigato che e stampare commodissimamente
            canto figurado: Et per consequens molto più facilmente canto fermo: cossa precipue á la
            Religion Christiana de grande ornamento, et maxime necessaria: pertanto el soprascripto supplicante
            recorre a li piedi de vostra Illustrissima Signoria, supplicando quella per solita sua clementia, et benignità
            se degni concederli de gratia special chome á primo inuentore che niuno altro nel dominio de
            Vostra Signoria possi stampare canto figurado, ne intabuladure d’organo et de liuto per anni vintii
            ne anche possi portare, ne far portar ó vender dicte cosse in le terre et luogi de excelsa Vostra
            Signoria stampade fuora in qualunque altro luogo sotto pena de perdere dicte opere stampade per altri
            ouer portade de fuora et de pagare ducati x per chadauna opera: la qual pena sia applicata per
            la mita e l’ospedal del Sancto Antonio, et l’altra mita a la franceschano del monte nuouo et questo di-
            manda de gratia singular \a/ vostra illustrissima Signoria a la qual sempre se racommanda. /

                                                      1498. Die xxv. Maij

                                    Quod suprascripto supplicanti conceditur prout potit. /


                                                Ser Marinus Leono.
                                                Ser Jeronimus Vendrameno.
                                          Ser Laurentius Venerio.
                                          Ser Dominicus Bollani.


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