A judgment of the Italian Court of Cassation – No. 17565 of 18 June 2021 – offers an opportunity to investigate the legal protection options applicable to the direction of opera. As this issue is not addressed by EU law, EU Member States have adopted different approaches, from awarding copyright, to neighboring rights, to a mixture of the two. This opinion aims at finding the most consistent solution within the Italian legal framework. After an assessment of the alternative legal options, it argues that opera direction should be eligible for copyright protection via an analogical application of Art. 44 of the Italian copyright law, which indirectly includes cinematic direction within the area of copyrightable works. This conclusion is based on the fact that there are no substantial differences between the two types of direction justifying a diverse treatment. Otherwise, it would result in blatant and unsubstantiated discrimination because both categories of directors set out to convert a text – the dramatic text or the film script – to the medium of theatre or film respectively. Finally, this opinion suggests that even if the other creative roles involved in opera making are not addressed by the law, they too should qualify as co-authors if they make a creative contribution.

The Copyrightability of Opera Direction / Iaia, Vincenzo. - In: GRUR INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 2632-8623. - 71:3(2022), pp. 226-229. [10.1093/grurint/ikab152]

The Copyrightability of Opera Direction

Vincenzo Iaia
2022

Abstract

A judgment of the Italian Court of Cassation – No. 17565 of 18 June 2021 – offers an opportunity to investigate the legal protection options applicable to the direction of opera. As this issue is not addressed by EU law, EU Member States have adopted different approaches, from awarding copyright, to neighboring rights, to a mixture of the two. This opinion aims at finding the most consistent solution within the Italian legal framework. After an assessment of the alternative legal options, it argues that opera direction should be eligible for copyright protection via an analogical application of Art. 44 of the Italian copyright law, which indirectly includes cinematic direction within the area of copyrightable works. This conclusion is based on the fact that there are no substantial differences between the two types of direction justifying a diverse treatment. Otherwise, it would result in blatant and unsubstantiated discrimination because both categories of directors set out to convert a text – the dramatic text or the film script – to the medium of theatre or film respectively. Finally, this opinion suggests that even if the other creative roles involved in opera making are not addressed by the law, they too should qualify as co-authors if they make a creative contribution.
Opera Direction; Copyright; Authorship
The Copyrightability of Opera Direction / Iaia, Vincenzo. - In: GRUR INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 2632-8623. - 71:3(2022), pp. 226-229. [10.1093/grurint/ikab152]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/219622
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