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Christopher Witcombe

This study examines the emergence and early history of copyright in Venice and Rome, focusing in particular on the privilegio and the use made of it by printers, publishers, engravers, painters, architects, mapmakers, and others in the sixteenth century to protect their commercial interests in various types of printed images. These include separately sold engravings, woodcuts, and etchings, as well as illustrations in books.
The first part of the book surveys printmaking and the privilegio in sixteenth-century Venice and Rome together with the related issues of licensing and censorship. The second part documents many of the recipients who were granted the privilegio.
The book introduces the reader to the richly competitive world of printmaking and print publishing in Renaissance Italy.