# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer
Venetian Decree on Pre-publication Censorship, Venice (1527)

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Venetian Decree on Pre-publication Censorship, Venice (1527), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter 1 Page 1

                   29 January 1527

Since the licences to print the books are easily granted to everyone in this City, it had
been noted on several occasions that dishonest works came out in print, the works of bad
nature; which ought to be remedied by an appropriate order, and therefore it has been
decreed that from now in future no one shall be permitted to print, or sell printed copies,
of any work, or a newly composed book which has never been printed, either in verse, or
in prose, regardless in what language, unless a permission is obtained from the heads of
this Council with the decree signed by their own hands; which permission and decree,
however, shall be granted after the aforesaid work had been reviewed by at least two
persons, whoever the heads will chose to call upon to see and examine that work and to
report their opinion in writing under the oath. And it may not be permitted to do
otherwise on pain of loss of the printed works, and other penalties; and so under the
aforementioned penalties it is not permitted to sell in this city any newly composed work,
and also any work printed elsewhere without the licence of the heads of this council, as
specified above. Having declared that no one may print any book, either newly
composed, or no longer in print, unless he presents a written licence, as it has been stated

And this decree shall be published on [the steps of] the Rialto to the knowledge of

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