Ariosto's Printing Privilege, Venice (1515)

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, NC, reg. 18, c.23r.

Ariosto's Printing Privilege, Venice (1515), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: i_1515

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Full title:
Ludovico Ariosto's Printing Privilege for the First Edition of Orlando Furioso

Full title original language:

This is an application by Ludovico Ariosto to the Venetian Collegio for exclusive rights to print and sell the first edition of his 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). The petition specifies the desired term of protection, which was to last for the duration of the poet's life, as well as a penalty for infringements of one thousand ducats, which was exceptionally high. This is one of a series of privileges which Ariosto obtained from various Italian states and France in order to extend his privilege coverage beyond one jurisdiction. His copyright was confirmed by the Venetian Senate in 1528 and in 1535, after his death, to his heirs. This case shows that the system of privileges could be a valuable instrument by which authors protected their rights and investments, though clearly designed for a restricted category of works composed by authors who were already well-known and could reckon with commercial and literary success.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.

  • Masi, Giorgio, 'Postilla sull'affaire Doni-Nesi: la questione del Dialogo della stampa', 'Studi italani' 4 (1990), 41-54

  • Fahy, Conor, 'L'Orlando furioso' del 1532: profilo di una edizione' (Milan: Vita e pensiero, 1989)

  • Catalano, Michele, 'Vita di Ludovico Ariosto: ricostruita su nuovi documenti', 2 vols (Geneva: Olschki, 1930-31)

  • Brand, Peter, 'Ludovico Ariosto: a preface to the 'Orlando furioso'' (Edinburgh: Edinburgh U.P., 1974)

  • Ariosto, Ludovico, 'Lettere', ed. By A. Stella (Milan: Mondatori, 1965)

Related documents in this database:
1486: Marco Antonio Sabellico's Printing Privilege
1498: Ottaviano Petrucci's Music Patent
1526: Papal and Venetian Privileges for Sigismondo Fanti's 'Triompho di Fortuna'

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1515

Location: Venice

Language: Italian

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, NC, reg. 18, c.23r.

Persons referred to:
Ariosto, Ludovico
Este, Ippolito d'
Loredan, Leonardo

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Venetian Collegio (cabinet of government), in the Doge's palace

Venetian printing privilege for Ariosto (1515)

authors' remuneration
penalties, paid to author(s)
penalties, paid to fiscal authorities
privileges, Venetian

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