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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 2 of 20 total

that are new and have never before been printed in Venice.
      The most humble complaints of these families being opposed only
to this section of that venerable Ruling, and these having already been
satisfied by the compassion of the Senate which granted them an
audience, the clemency of Your Excellencies has agreed to receive
from the voice of their lawyer their deferential feelings concerning the
venerable decree, which they shall now summarize, so that, gathered
together in these pages, their views may again be submitted to the
wisdom of Your Excellencies, whom they ask to note that, since their
original petition was followed by a counter-petition from the current
Prior of the Guild and his associates, who have intervened as their
opponents, their respectful defence now will be aimed only at contesting
the assumptions made by the latter, whilst always treating with the
utmost deference and submission that supreme authority from which
the aforesaid Ruling emanates and with which it is invested.
      However, in summarizing the examination which has been
carried out [of the Ruling and the counter-petition], the most humble
supplicants cannot hide the fact that it is a source of great comfort to
those who are not present here to find that their petition is backed up
by the unswerving legislation of three centuries, by the principles
advanced by the Most Exc. Senate will all its recognised experience,
not that the uniform maxims of this Most Earnest Magistracy have
not at all times been protected and upheld by the latter, even when
followed by solemn judgments to the contrary.
      Now, what the nature, circumstances [rapporti] and effects of
privileges in the sphere of printing are, is a subject which has been
exhausted in repeated enquiries made by the Most Exc. Senate on
the basis of concrete facts.
      If they would care to go through again their successive deliberations
on the matter, they will find that these are always directed at eradicating
the abuse and excessive duration of privileges.
      "Taking away liberty through privileges has hindered the diffusion
of the arts,
and commerce, it has dealt a blow to public and private
, remarks the first Decree of 1517.
      "To prohibit, with an exclusive privilege [privativo], other subjects from reprinting,
means to nourish and foster the reprinting activities of foreigners"
, remarks the second


nuovi mai più stampati in questa Dominante.
      Rivolti a questa sola parte di detta rispettabile Terminazione
gli umilissimi loro riclami, esauditi già dalla Pietà del Senato col
grazioso Decreto, che ne hà concesso l'ascolta, si è prestata la Cle-
menza di VV.EE. ad accogliere dalla voce del loro avvocato gli os-
sequiosi suoi sentimenti; che in ordine al venerato comman-
do vanno ora a riassumere, onde raccolti in queste carte, as-
soggetarli di nuovo alla Sapienza di VV.EE., cui pregano a
rimarcare, che seguito essendo l'ascolto in contradittorio, e in
confronto dell' attual Priore, e suoi consorti, che si è fatto op-
positore, così la riverente loro diffesa sarà diretta soltanto
ad impugnare li di lui assunti, venerando sempre con suddita
rassegnazione quella suprema auttorità, da cui parte, e di
cui è rivestita la Terminazione predetta.
      Nel riassumere però l'assoggettato esame non possomo
dissimulare li divotissimi ricorrenti, che grande causa di con-
forto ad essi non ci presenti, nel trovare appoggiato il loro
riccorso a una costante legislazione di tre secoli, à princi-
pi con riconosciuta esperienza addottati dall' Ecc.mo. Se-
nato, non che alle massime uniforme di questa Gravissima
Magistratura in tutti i tempi da essa protette anche con
solenni giudici in contradittorio seguiti.
      Quale sia dunque la natura, quali i rapporti e gli ef-
fetti de’ privilegi in materia di Stampe, fù questo un esame
con confronti di fatto più volte esaurito dall' Ecc.mo. Senato.
      Se si vogliano riandare le successive sue deliberazioni nell'
argomento, si troveranno sempre rivolte a sradicare l'abuso
e la soverchia estensione de privileggi.
      "Il toglier la libertà coi privileggi, hà impedito la diffusione
dell' Arte,
e del commercio, hà colpito il pubblico, e il prvato
, rimarca il primo Decreto 1517.
      "Il vietare col privativo d'un solo la ristampa ai sudditi nutre
e fomenta la ristampa degli esteri"
, rimarca il secondo


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