Books and Their Makers during the Middle Ages: A Study of the Conditions of the Production and Distribution of Literature from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Close of the Seventeenth Century - Vol. 2

By George Haven Putnam | Go to book overview

PART III.
THE BEGINNINGS OF PROPERTY IN LITERATURE.

CHAPTER I.
PRIVILEGES AND CENSORSHIP IN ITALY. 1498-1798.

THE legislation of the Venetian Republic in regard to privileges, monopolies, and copyrights was more continuous and more important than that of any Italian State. In fact, the enactments of the other States for the supervision of printing and for the encouragement and protection of literary productions were so far similar to those of Venice (upon which many of them had probably been modelled) that the series of Venetian laws can be taken as fairly representative of the general system prevailing in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The requirements of my subject will, therefore, be most conveniently met by confining my record for Italy to a summary of the copyright legislation of Venice, in place of undertaking to give the details for each Italian city in which printing was carried on. For the data of this record I am largely indebted to the

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