Earlier this week the Florence Court of First Instance (Tribunale di Firenze) issued an important and interesting decision [not yet available], which has been widely reported by newspapers in Italy.
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The Avvocatura dello Stato, this being the body responsible for advising and representing the Italian state (including in legal proceedings), sued a company, Visit Today, before the Florence Court of First Instance, seeking to obtain a decision that would prohibit this from selling unofficial tickets for the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, also using brochures and materials depicting what is probably the most famous guest of this beautiful museum: Michelangelo’s David.
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[I]n Italy moral rights protection is perpetual and also the State [or rather, the Head of Italian Government: see Article 23 of the Copyright Act] can enforce an author’s own moral rights.
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Article 106 of the [Italian Cultural Heritage] Code sets the general principle that for cultural heritage items subject to their own control, the State, the various Italian regions and local public bodies may allow individual applicants to use such items for purposes compatible with their own cultural value.
This means that for-profit uses of cultural heritage under the responsibility of Italian public administration are not generally free: instead, they are subject to preventive authorization.
Articles 107 and 108 of the Code provide that the competent public administration may allow third-party uses of an item – including an artwork – belonging to Italian cultural heritage, subject to the payment of royalties to be determined on the basis of – among other things – the type of use requested and the possible economic gain that the user would obtain from the use of the item.
Link to the rest at IPKat