Copyright law encourages creation and promotes the “process of creating” because of the remuneration and reward of that work. For this reason authors should take the greatest possible care in protecting their artwork.




The protection provided by copyright law includes all intellectual works whit a creative character, regardless of expressive mode or shape.
Works protected by copyright are those belong to:

  • literature: literary, dramatic, scientific, religious work, both in writing and orally
  • music: musical compositions, tragic musical works
  • visual art: engravings, sculpture and painting, including scenography
  • architecture: architectural design,  industrial and artistic design
  • theater: choreography works
  • film: cinematographic works, movies, silent or audible
  • photography: photographic works
  • software: computer system as result of an intellectual creation
  • database: database as group of information, data, works, and all other elements systematically arranged and accessible via Web
  • engineering drawing: industrial designs and models with creative and  artistic value. 



In Italy, the term of copyright protection is 70 years after author’s death, but this rule could have exceptions.


The right arises at the time of work creation. Italian Civil Code identifies it as “a special expression of intellectual work”.
Author can exploit his own work as he wants, according with the constitutional principle of the free private economic initiative.
Copyright gives author exclusive rights to prevent third parties from economic exploitation of his work. In particular, law gives these exclusives rights:

  • publication
  • reproduction
  • transcription
  • public acting and performance
  • public communication, through media and web
  • distribution
  • selling
  • rental and lending.



The economic exploitation of the work covered by copyright can occur in any  ways, the economic rights last up to 70 years after author’s death.
Economic rights can be transferred and, in some cases, even used as compensation of exploitation by third parties.
Economic exploitation rights are grouped in three categories:

  • performing and distribution rights
  • public communication rights
  • interpretation and elaboration rights.

All of these rights are independent and the exercise of one of them doesn’t exclude the exercise of the other.