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How copyright is protected
The copyright is originally acquired with the creation of the work (except in specific cases in which this creation took place under a work performance contract), therefore the work belongs, as the first owner, to whom he is the author. He has the right to dispose of it for what concerns its economic use (not for paternity, understood as the moral right to be indicated as the author of the work, which must always be recognized only to the author). A very common example is that which binds a writer to his editor. The writer is the author of the literary work, in order to better promote and distribute the work, he gives his rights of economic use to a publisher in exchange, normally, for a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the book. Even if he were to give up all the rights of economic use, no one could deprive him of the right to be recognized as the father of the work.
The recent law, always current on copyright, has introduced further hypotheses in order to combat piracy and counterfeiting, even that which takes place via the Internet.
Except for particular exceptions, the economic protection of a work lasts until the seventieth year from the death of the author has passed (after the death of the author, it is the heirs who benefit economically from the proceeds and it is from them that authorizations must be requested. or licenses).
We come to analyze in detail the protection of the works according to their nature.
Texts, writings, articles, e-mails – Any form of text, even short, is protected by copyright law and cannot be copied, reproduced (even in other formats or on different media), nor is it possible to appropriate of his paternity. The only exception provided for by the law is to allow the summary, quotation or reproduction of passages or parts of literary works (but not the entire work, or a complete part of it ) for the purpose of study, discussion, documentation or teaching, provided that the author and the source are cited, and not acting for profit, provided that such citations do not constitute competition to the economic use of the work itself. Only in this particular hypothesis can action be taken without the author’s consent.
Any original text, which has the minimum character of creativity, is therefore protected by law, without the need for particular obligations or warnings, even if expressed in oral form (eg the sound recording of a play).
On the other hand, no legal limit exists for the reproduction of texts by authors who have died for over seventy years.
However, it must be considered that even the writings of a not specifically creative nature (but popular, communicative, informative), which are transmitted through the network, benefit from legal protection. this is the case, for example, of E-MAILs, which, representing a form of correspondence, are subject to the prohibition of disclosure, violation, theft.
Music, mp3, midi files, song lyrics, cinematographic works, films – Arguments such as the legitimacy of the free distribution of music via the Internet have great interest. In reality, the distribution and exchange of musical material that takes place between users of the network (generally in the form of MP3 or WAV files) is to be clearly considered illegitimate unless expressly authorized by the author or whoever holds the economic rights of the work. . And recently there have been many interventions, even at an international level, aimed at stemming the phenomenon of the so-called musical piracy.
Regarding the TEXTS OF SONGS, what has already been said for textual works in general is valid. They cannot be reproduced in full, except with the express authorization of the holders of economic rights.
The limits referred to now do not exist for the reproduction of music by authors who have died for over seventy years, except for the rights due to those who performed and produced the recording, however to be remunerated.
CINEMATOGRAPHIC WORKS and FILAMTS also enjoy similar protection. it should only be noted that, since they are very often collective works (i.e. made jointly by several participants: director, screenwriter, composer of the soundtrack, etc.), their protection extends until the seventieth year from the death of the last of the co-authors.
Photographs, artistic photos, portraits – In this case it is necessary to distinguish whether the photographs have an artistic character or not. In the case of simple photographic works, the photographer is entitled to the exclusive rights of reproduction, dissemination and distribution . except in the case that the work was commissioned within an employment contract ( in this case the employer will hold the same rights). The protection lasts twenty years from the date the photograph was made.
However, another principle also applies to Italian legislation, in this case rather favorable to the dissemination of photographic works.
the name of the person who holds the rights of economic use (photographer, employer or client);
the year of production of the photograph, and – if the photograph reproduces a work of art -;
the name of the author of the photographed artwork.
In case of lack of such information, the reproduction of the photos is not considered abusive as long as the photographer (or his employer) does not prove the bad faith of the person who reproduced them.