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'Pezzana e Consorti' case: counter-petition and rulings, Venice (1781)

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'Pezzana e Consorti' case: counter-petition and rulings, Venice (1781), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 1 of 20 total

To the Most Illustrious and Excellent Gentlemen
the Commissioners of the University of Padua.

      If laying at the feet of our Prince the most reverent petition,
so that he might deign to hear the wishes of various honourable
families who are his subjects, could be qualified with the odious
character of wishing to wage war against the Sovereign and to the
eminent authority of this Most Earnest Tribunal, then neither the
Majesty of the Senate would have deigned to satisfy their petition,
nor would the clemency of Your Excellencies have consented to
listen to the details of their most respectful remonstrance.
      Far removed from these honourable families is the arbitrary
reproach that they are somehow waging war against the Sovereign
Prince; for, indeed, not in vain are they benefited by his laws, and
they all have a profound respect and sense of devotion for the
assiduous cares of this Most Excellent Magistracy, which, in its
most recent Ruling of 30 July 1780, has instituted and embraced
in the various articles of the latter the most useful measures for
promoting the good of the Art of Printing and the Venetian book
      One of these measures stands out as remarkable because of
the great maxim contained in it, and because of the profound
consequences which might result from it. It is comprised in art.
6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, in which this Most Exc. Magistracy, in accordance
with the petitions of the current Prior of the Guild, and his Adjuncts,
has decided to decree an absolute, universal, and limitless exclusive
right [privativo] for any book hitherto printed in this realm, as a
result of which the entirety of all possible books which from the
invention of printing have so far been printed in our State, whether
with privilege, or without, all of them would without exception be
taken away forever from the liberty of the Venetian press, leaving
the latter with nothing more than the risk-fraught publication of books


Illustrissimi ed Eccellintissimi Signori
Signori Riformatori dello studio di Padova.

      Se il portare ai piedi del Principe il più riverente ricorso,
onde discender voglia ad ascoltare i voti di varie suddite
onorate famiglie, qualificar si professe coll' odiosa carat-
tere di voler far la guerra al Soverano, e alla eminente
auttorità di questo Gravissimo Tribunale, nè discesa sarebbe la
Maestà del Senato ad esaudire il loro ricorso, nè si sarebbe
prestata la clemenza di VV.EE. a intendere i dettagli delle
loro ossequiose rimostranze.
      Ben lontane esse onorate famiglie dall' arbitraria
imprecazione di far la guerra al voler del Sovrano; ne
ad vano anzi le benefiche sue leggi, e venerano insiéme
con intimo senso di divozione le vigili cure di questo
Ecc.mo. Magistrato, che anche colla recente Terminazione 30
luglio 1780, ha instituite ne' varj Articoli dalla medesima
abbracciati le più salutari provvidenze tendente a pro-
movere il bene dell' Arte Tipografica, e del Veneto libra-
rio commercio.
      Una trà queste rimarcabile si rende per la massima
grande, che in se contiene, e per le somme conseguenze
che sarebbero per derivarne dessa compresa negli Ar-
ticoli 6: 7: 8: 9: 10, è quali questo Ecc.mo Magistrato dietro i
riccorsi dell' attual Priore dell' Arte, e Bancali, si è deter-
minata a commandare un assoluto, universale, intermi-
nabile privativo per qualunque libro stampato finora
in questo Dominio, onde tutti affatto i libri possibili, che
dal di’ dell' invenzione della stampa furono nello stato im-
pressi finora, o con privilegio o senza privilegio, tutti
affatto siano tolti per sempre alla libertà delle Venete stampe,
niente più ad essa lasciando se non che l'azzardo de’ libri


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