The development of commercial theater in Early Modern Spain was based not only on its consolidation as an autonomous economic practice but also on the attempts of the authorities to regulate it. One of the consequences of this professional praxis was the transformation of theatrical texts into commodities traded between playwrights and actors, whose value and ownership were mainly determined by the internal characteristics of the business. In this paper I will analyze the first attempts of Spanish authorities to exercise some type of control over certain aspects of the possession and circulation of these texts. I will study two specific cases: a lawsuit from 1598 between the companies of Luis de Vergara and Mateo de Salcedo, and an official order that appeared in 1636 from the member of the Council of Castile in charge of supervising theatrical activity. Copyright © 2012 University of Pennsylvania Press. All rights reserved.