The protection of unpublished work

Protection of unpublished works in Italy is possible by registering them at the SIAE register (which stands for Italian Society of Authors and Publishers).

In this way, it is possible to protect unpublished works, much more exposed to infringement, by registering them at the SIAE, before they get published. Particularly you can file: books, songs, stories, poetries, screenplays, plots, subjects, audiovisual works, software, databases, graphic works, and intellectual works in general. These can be supplied on: paper, floppy disk, videotape, audiotape, CD, CD-ROM, DVD, magnetic tape, etc. This service is also available for those who are not SIAE associated and foreigners. With this deposit there is the big advantage of having secure evidence on the work’s creation date, so that trade negotiations with third parties can be done without any risks of forgery.

Method of the deposit and duration

To make a deposit it is necessary to have a copy of the work that needs to be protected, this will have to be on paper and/or magnetic support. Such copy, accompanied by a statement of authorship, must be filed at the SIAE, which will put it in a closed envelope and store it in its own files secure from public access. They will release, to the depositor, a certificate with the filing reference number. The deposit has duration of 5 years and can be renewed upon termination for an equal period; the owner can withdraw it at any time. If, upon termination, the owner does not remove the work nor he renews the deposit, the SIAE will have the authority to destroy the material. The deposit does not give any rights to acquire the title of SIAE’s associate or the work’s protection by them, also the SIAE is not bound to read it or to evaluate or place the filed work, neither has it got any responsibility of possible infringement or illicit use. This form of protection is important as the work is kept secret, as specified in par. B) of the Filing Conditions, which says ”the deposit is a personal matter and is accepted by the SIAE as an evidence of the work’s existence at the filing date”.

Other forms of protection

A similar effect can, sometimes, be achieved by filing it at a Notary’s office or by sending to yourself an envelope holding the material to be protected.

Protection of published works

The published works can, instead, be filed, former art. 103 Copyright Act, at the Ministry of Properties and Cultural activities.