Venetian Decree on Press Affairs, Venice (1517)

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, Senato, Terra, reg. 20, fol. 58v-59r.

Venetian Decree on Press Affairs, Venice (1517), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
The First Legislation on Press Affairs by the Venetian Senate

Full title original language:

The Decree of 1517 was the first act of public legislation regulating the printing trade in Venice. It revoked all existing monopolies and ruled that future privileges were to be granted only for 'new books and works.' This was the first in a series of remedial decrees which sought to introduce stricter rules for the granting of new privileges, in order to prevent the formation of legal monopolies and abuses of the privilege system. The commentary argues that in the process of defining new criteria for awarding privileges, the Venetian legal regime expanded the boundary of protection beyond the sphere of verbatim reproduction and introduced the notion of novelty and originality into the realm of the book market.

1 Commentary:

  • Richardson, Brian, 'Print Culture in Renaissance Italy: the editor and the vernacular text, 1470-1600' (Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1994)

  • Pozza, Neri, 'L'editoria Veneziana da Giovanni da Spira ad Aldo Manuzio', in 'La stampa degli incunaboli nel Veneto, Saggi e note' (Verona: tipografia Editoriale Aldo Manuzio', 1983)

  • Fulin, Rinaldo, 'Documenti per servire alla storia della tipografia veneziana', Archivio Veneto 23 (1882): 84-212

  • Castellani, Carlo, 'La stampa in Venezia dalla sua origine alla morte di Aldo Manuzio Seniore, con appendice di documenti in parte inediti' (Trieste: Edizioni LINT, 1973)

Related documents in this database:
1486: Marco Antonio Sabellico's Printing Privilege
1503: Aldus Manutius's Warning against the Printers of Lyon
1545: Venetian Decree on Author-Printer Relations
1603: Venetian Decree on Privileges for New Books and Reprints
1780: 'Pezzana e Consorti' case: supporting documents

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1517

Location: Venice

Language: Latin

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, Senato, Terra, reg. 20, fol. 58v-59r.

Persons referred to:
Capello, Paolo
Foscari, Francesco
Foscari, Marco
Gritti, Andrea
Trevisano, Andrea

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
St Mark's Basilica, Venice
Venetian Senate

Venetian decree on privileges (1517)

book market
duration, prolongation of privileges
editions, new
privileges, Venetian
privileges, printing

Responsible editor: Joanna Kostylo

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