# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer




Ottaviano Petrucci's Music Patent, Venice (1498)

Source: scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASV, NC, reg. 14, fol. 170r.

Ottaviano Petrucci's Music Patent, Venice (1498), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter 1 Page 1

      Most serene Prince and most illustrious Signory: since it is most widely reputed that
your Serenities, through your grants and privileges, invite and inspire ingenious minds
to think upon new inventions for the public benefit and the adornment of public life, among
those invited, Ottaviano dei Petrucci of Fossombrone, an inhabitant of this illustrious
City, a very ingenious man, has, at great expense and with most watchful care, invented
what many, not only in Italy but also outside of Italy, have long attempted in vain,
which is to print, most conveniently, Figured Music: and in consequence even more
easily Plainchant: a thing very important to the Christian Religion, a great
embellishment and exceedingly necessary: wherefore the aforementioned petitioner
seeks relief at the feet of your Most Illustrious Signory, pleading that the Signory
through its usual clemency and benignity deign to accord him, as first inventor, a
special grace, that, for twenty years no other be empowered to print figured music in the
land subject to Your Signory, nor tablatures for organ or lute, nor to import said things,
printed outside in any other place whatsoever, nor cause them to be imported or sold in
the territories or places under Your Sublime Signory, on pain of confiscation of said
works, printed by others, or imported from outside, and a fine of ten ducats for each
copy: of which [sum] half shall be donated to the hospital of St Anthony, and the
other half to the Franciscans of the New Mount [of Piety], and this he asks as a special
grace from Your Illustrious Signory to which he commends himself forever

                                                      1498, the 25th day of May

                              The above petition is granted on the terms therein set forth.

                                                The Councillors.
                                          Signore Marinus Leono.
                                          Signore Jeronimus Vendrameno.
                                          Signore Laurentius Venerio.
                                          Signore Dominicus Bollani. /

Translation by: Joanna Kostylo


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