OpenEd – While reading “Free Culture”by Lawrence Lessig

Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana

How would we re-write the following episode of intellectual property in the Internet era (Italian Context, this time) ?

In 1888, Verga gave his permission to G. D. Bartocci Fontana to produce a booklet out of his novel entitled “ Mala Pasqua” (Bad Easter). The booklet with the music by Stanislao Gastaldon was admitted to a competition for young composers advertised by Edoardo Sonzogno. The 26 years old composer Pietro Mascagni participated to the same competition with a booklet by Giovanni Tagioni – Tozzetti and Guido Menasci produced out of Cavalleria Rusticana without Verga’s permission. Mascagni won the competition and Verga gave him permission for the performance accepting the 25% out of the incoming as copyright. The work was performed at Teatro Costanzi in Rome on May the 17th  1890. It was a triumph. The extraordinary success of Cavalleria Rusticana provoked a series of judicial proceedings between Verga and Mascagni – Sonzogno. The proceedings ended in 1893 and Verga accepted the sum of  lire 143.000 as copyright, about 500.000 dollars today. “

 Intermezzo, from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni (3’26”).

One thing is certain, Mascagni is always ahead in comparison to his main inspiring novel writer, Giovanni Verga.

You can download his Cavalleria Rusticana from Microlibrary, a COSL’s project (See David Wiley post for more information)

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One Response

  1. […] Free Culture (Lessig) Commented on by: Elisa, Mela, Greg, Silvana (Me) […]

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