Copyright is an intellectual property title that protects intellectual works within the territory of the State where the owner economically uses his work.

In Italy works protected by copyright are those having creative characters which fall within wide categories, for instance intellectual works  connectable to:


  • Literature
  • Music
  • Figurative arts
  • Architecture
  • Theatre
  • Cinematography
  • Photographic works
  • Software
  • Data banks 
  • Radio and television works


Works characterized by having the purpose of communicating with others are, therefore, the subject matter of copyright. The right to their exclusive use is therefore limited to the representative or expressive form.


Creative character:


  • It does not refer to the covered subject matter, but only to the expressive or representative form that will have to show an original and individual character.
  • The work has to differ from other works having the same content.


The author has the exclusive right to publish the work.


He has also the exclusive right to economically use the work in any, original or derivative shape or form, within the limits fixed by the law, and in particular with the exercise of the exclusive rights as indicated in the following articles.


Duration of Copyright:


  • 70 years from the death of the author.
  • A different registration procedure is provided for the software


How to file a copyright:


  • Copyright exists in the author’s favour as a consequence of the work’s creation and  from the moment of its creation.
  • It may be useful to file the work at the General Public Register of Protected Works kept by the Copyright Service of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (published works), or at the Register of unpublished works, or at the Register of the software.
  • The filing has an evidential value of the existence of the work and of its authorship at a certain date, transferring to third parties the burden of proving evidence to the contrary


The identification mark of the Italian Association of Authors and Publishers (S.I.A.E.) will comprise the following elements:


  • A serial number for any single reproduced work.
  • A mark indicating the destination to sale, renting or to any other form of distribution.
  • The title of the work and the names of the author, the producer and the owner of the copyright.
  • Failure to affix the S.I.A.E. identification mark on works for which this obligation exists is punishable by law.