In Genoa .. the authorities offered in 1529 a reward up to two hundred ducats to anyone who killed a fugitive artisan. Similarly, Lucca had been offering a bounty for the murder of emigrant workers since 1314, and Florence punished transgressors by beheading. ... these possessive and mercantilist attitudes cannot be equated with the proprietary models of modern intellectual property law.
From Gunpowder to Print: The Common Origins of Copyright and Patent, Joanna Kostylo. p. 35 in: Privilege and Property. Essays on the History of Copyright.