Before Copyright: The French Book-Privilege System 1498-1526 by Elizabeth Armstrong

By Elizabeth Armstrong

Whilst printing first all started, a brand new publication instantly fell into the general public area upon e-book. just a specific legislations or privilegium enacted by means of a reliable authority may well defend it from being reprinted with out the consent of the writer or writer. Such privileges for books are attested earlier than 1480, yet in Germany and Italy their efficacy was once constrained to a comparatively small quarter via the political fragmentation of the rustic. through the 1480s and 1490s France turned one among Europe's major centres of ebook creation and, as pageant intensified, privileges have been sought there from 1498. even if privileges have been to last up to the Ancien Régime, the interval to 1526 is the least-known level in their improvement and an important. so much privilege-holders published the entire textual content in their provide, and so on a precis.

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Additional info for Before Copyright: The French Book-Privilege System 1498-1526

Example text

He clearly thought the time had come to seek protection, and avail himself of his connections with the French court. He was followed by Guillaume Eustace, bookseller to the king since about 1497 (CH 1508, 2), who obtained rights for two years in any new book he should publish, though apparently only in certain categories. gathered momentum. The quest for legal had proved of limited value in Privileges protection countries which were politically fragmented, rendering a privilege granted in one state valueless in another.

Ep. 1344. K. Schottenloher, Die Widmungsvorrede im Buck des i6tenjahrhunderts (Miinster, 1953), p. 199. K. Schottenloher, 'Die Druckprivilegien des i6ten Jahrhunderts', Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1933), pp. 89-1 1 1. 15 ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF BOOK-PRIVILEGES other printers to refrain from reprinting it for three years. This 'gentlemen's agreement' had already by then broken down. 1 The first privilege application to the Council of the duchy, made by another was prompted in the first instance by a dispute with an unscrupulous competitor in the same town.

Vc See below, p. 117. 20 7, 8, 9. PRIVILEGE-GRANTING AUTHORITIES IN FRANCE 2 THE KINGDOM OF FRANCE, in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, was a favourable territory in which to try out the privilege-system. By then it was, like Italy, a country in which the book-trade was highly developed, both in the production of printed books and in the marketing of them. Unlike Italy, it was a single state, with a formidable centralised administration which effectively controlled the whole land. England was indeed as centralised as France, but still had only a small native printing industry mainly serving local needs; a high proportion of the printed books required in the country was imported from abroad.

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