What does the writing “copyright, all the rights reserved to the author” mean?
This is the renowned “copyright notification”, the information that must be applied on books, but also on records, on filming, on Internet pages and more generally, on works benefiting from the protection of the copyright, and it warns the reader that the material cannot be freely reproduced, but falls under the copyright.
With reference to the books, art. 12 and following of the Law 633/1941 provide that the author has the exclusive right to publish the work and “economically use it in any form and original or similar way”, therefore only he has the right, for instance, of distributing the work in the most appropriate ways, of translating it, of transcribing it for phonograph, for screenplays, therefore, anyone wanting to use that work would have to ask first for the author’s consent. Those we just talked about are the “economical rights”, which the author can sell to publishing houses or other subjects, but amongst the rights there is also the “moral author’s right”, meaning the right to be recognised as the author of a work and which is not transferable.
There are some uses of the work that are exempt, so they are free and provided for by the art. 5 of the same law: the reproduction of works or musical pieces for personal use made with apparatus unsuitable for the distribution, is free; photocopying of texts from libraries for personal use, the loan to the public, the summary, reproduction of pieces or parts of a work for critics, discussion or teaching, as long as the author is mentioned. It deserves to be mentioned that the author’s right has a variable duration according to the type of work (for example for photographs it is 20 years), but in the case of books it is quite wide, as it is extended to the life of the author and for 70 years after his death, passed on to his heirs.