Copyright and “Authors’ rights”

Copyright law has always overseen (and protected) the fruit of man's creations, providing those creations, providing they demonstrate an adequate level of creative originality and are expressed in a clear/tangible form.

Unlike trademarks and patents, authorial copyright – referred to as diritto d’autore (“authors’ rights”) in Italy – does not require registration to apply, and thus for the work to be protected. However, it is essential to always retain proof of the creation of the work, otherwise both authorial ownership of the work, as well as the related, exclusive right to its economic exploitation, may be at risk.
Music, literature, design … there is no exhaustive list of genres of works to refer to, but it is always rather important to define a conscious legal protection strategy, in line with one’s own creative output.

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Italian copyright is governed primarily by the Law of 22 April 1941, n. 633 as well as Title IX of the Italian Civil Code. However, there is no comprehensive list of types of works or categories to refer to.

The following types of creative work can certainly be deemed to be covered: Written texts, Publishing, Photography, Music, Novels, Screenplays, Fashion Design, Literature, Cinema, Television, Presentations, Formats, Websites…

Article 2 of the Italian Law on authors’ rights provides a list of the types of work covered. But this list is provided only as an example, and for this purpose alone; it is paraphrased below:

  1. literature: literary, dramatic, scientific, educational and religious works, be they in written or oral form;
  2. music: musical works and compositions (with or without lyrics), dramatic-musical works and musical adaptations (provided they constitute an original work in their own right);
  3. visual arts: sculpture, painting, drawing, engravings or works belonging to similar visual arts, including set design;
  4. architecture: technical drawings and architectural projects;
  5. theatre: choreography and pantomime (with or without a script);
  6. cinema: cinematic works (whether silent or with sound), photography;
  7. industrial design: works that demonstrate an artistic value and creative character in their own right.

Works involving a “creative process” are also covered – such as translations into another language, adaptations of one literary or artistic form into another, abridged versions, etc. Following the implementation of EU directives 96/9/CE and 91/250/EEC, data processing programmes and databases are also included in the above list.

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Our services

Interference and plagiarism

In addition to offering consultancy and investigation services regarding effective "originality", we assist our clients in cases of plagiarism and authorial parasitism.

Drafting of contracts and support with contractual negotiations

A well-written contract prevents disputes and it always helps you protect your business and your profits. The particular nature of the (intangible) goods that characterize the intellectual property sector has made us particularly skilled in drafting efficient contracts that can represent and defend the interests of our customers.

Court proceedings for copyright infringement/appropriation/claims

The best way to limit the damage of copyright infringement is to take decisive steps to avoid it occuring, through immediate action. We are experts litigators and are able to outline the ongoing risks to the designated Judge and obtain the orders that are required to bring an end the infringement in progress.

Payment recovery and/or damage claims

Sometimes being copied can be a "blessing". This is the case when you’re able to stop the offence immediately and obtain adequate compensation for the damage from the unauthorised user. Obviously, assistance from a qualified legal professional can have a big impact on the "wealth" and the effectiveness of the claim.

Commercial mediation with the SIAE [Italian Society of Authors and Publishers]

With regard to those works covered by authorial copyright (or “authors’ rights” – “diritto d’autore” in Italy), every day we manage clients’ relationships with the SIAE on their behalf. We are therefore used to taking care of the rights of the creators who turn to our firm, protecting their creations every day.

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