Italian Copyright & the Academy

  • Lavinia Ciuffa American Academy in Rome


In Italy, a detailed law on copyright was introduced in 1941, during the fascist era, when artwork and images began to assume a strategic role in mass communication. Consequently, the protection of artistic works became of primary importance. Building upon the agreements set by the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, a long list of artistic media were subsequently categorized as protected. “Photograph” was included under the subheading “figurative arts.” Then in 1979, “photograph” was specifically incorporated into this copyright law as a specific media in its own right. In 1999, a national law concerning Italian Cultural Heritage declared photography as a protected subject.