Copyrightable works

What works are eligible for copyright protection in your jurisdiction?

Copyright applies to intellectual works with a creative character relating to literature, music, figurative arts, architecture, theatre or cinematography, whatever their means or form of expression. However, in order to access the protection granted by the legislation, the work must satisfy the prerequisite of novelty. The law does not consider lawfulness, merit or value of the work as prerequisites to copyright protection, as they are both subjective and ever changing. 

Are there any special provisions for the protection of non-artistic works (eg, software and databases)?

Italian law protects databases that, by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents, constitute the author’s own intellectual creation (Article 1(2) of the Copyright Act). In particular, the protected databases are understood as being collections of works, data or other independent elements systematically or methodically arranged and individually accessible by electronic means or otherwise. The protection of databases does not extend to their content and is without prejudice to rights relating to the said content (Article 2(9) of the Copyright Act). Software is also included in the list of works protected by the Copyright Act, and is regarded as literature (Article 1(2)). In particular, the list includes software of any kind, providing that it is the result of an intellectual effort originally made by the author (Article 2(8)). Lastly, meaningful slogans can also be considered as intellectual works, as can advertising campaigns that involve a complex and creative plan.  

Are any works explicitly excluded from copyright protection?

Copyright protects only the form of the work, but not its information or expressive content. Therefore, mere ideas are not subject to protection. 

Related IP rights

Can copyrightable works be protected by other IP rights (eg, trademarks and designs)?

Industrial design works are also subject to copyright if, besides having a creative character, they also have an inherent artistic value. In some cases, an intellectual work such as a design or a graphic work can become a protected trademark for the exact visual representation for which it is registered.  

Lastly, a sculpture protected as artwork can be also registered as a three-dimensional trademark.