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Before Copyright

Before Copyright
The French Book-Privilege System 1498–1526


Part of Cambridge Studies in Publishing and Printing History

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521893152

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • When printing first began, a new book automatically fell into the public domain upon publication. Only a special law or privilegium enacted by a competent authority could protect it from being reprinted without the consent of the author or publisher. Such privileges for books are attested before 1480, but in Germany and Italy their efficacy was limited to a relatively small area by the political fragmentation of the country. During the 1480s and 1490s France became one of Europe's main centres of book production and, as competition intensified, privileges were sought there from 1498. Although privileges were to last as long as the Ancien Régime, the period to 1526 is the least-known stage of their development and the most important. Most privilege-holders printed the full text of their grant, and many others a summary.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521893152
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.532kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    note on transcription
    Note on proper names
    Sigla and abbreviations
    1. Origins and development of book-privileges in Europe
    2. Privilege-granting authorities in France
    3. Seeking and granting privileges: forms, conditions and procedures
    4. Grounds for seeking and granting privileges
    5. Grant of privilege and permission to print
    6. Dating and duration of privileges
    7. Display and advertisement of privileges
    8. The range of interests reflected in privileged books: analysis by subject
    9. Ownership, enforcement and efficacy of privileges
    Select bibliography
    Index of publishers, printers and booksellers
    General index.

  • Author

    Elizabeth Armstrong

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