Italian Society of Authors and Publishers
The Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (English: Italian Authors and Publishers Association), mostly know by its acronym SIAE, is an Italian public performance-rights organization responsible for the protection and exercise of copyright in Italy. Established by Law N° 633/1941, acts as intermediary institution between the public and copyright holders (such as software houses, music and film industries, publishing and broadcasting companies), granting permissions and licenses for the economic exploitation of works, for and in the interests of claimants and allocating the profits for the distribution among claimants. In addition it has responsibility, in place of the State or other public or private authorities, for the protection of intellectual works, including the verification and collection of taxes and fees and anti-piracy measurements.
|Italian Society of Authors and Publishers|
 SIAE’s uniqueness
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (June 2011)|
Unlike other organisations, in Italy there is a single body responsible for the protection of both authors and publishers. It is an example of one of the few examples of corporate law still in force after 1945. It has been observed that this choice favours publishers, who are in fact the managers in many cases, and that rights are surrendered by the authors.
 History of the Organisation
The SIAE was founded at the Palazzo Marino, Milan, on 23 April 1882. It was established in the way typically associated with author societies: primarily demanded by writers, musicians, publishers and authors, with the aim of promoting and protecting intellectual property.
The newly constituted SIAE elected the elderly Cesare Cantù as Honorary President and Tullio Massarani as serving President. The first Board of Directors included, among others, the publisher Emilio Treves, the politician Nicomede Bianchi, the scholars Edmondo De Amicis, Francesco De Sanctis and Giosuè Carducci and the musicians Antonio Bazzini and Giuseppe Verdi.
The organisation was founded not long before the Berne Convention on 9 September 1886, which gave automatic rights to the producers of literary and artistic works. Moreover, its foundation was prompted by the growing phenomenon of mass consumption of literary and artistic works, and of authors’ subsequent need, as well as others’ (publishers, distributors, actors, executors), to have an organisation to represent them, and above all, to protect their economic rights both within and outside of their own country.
The events of SIAE can be summarised as below:
- In 1920, the Society obtained from the State the tax ascertainment and collection service on theatrical performances, later extended to performances of other types. This was subsequently renewed up until 1999, when the tax was abolished.
- In 1926 the Society’s headquarters were moved to Rome.
- In 1927, it assumed its current denomination, which was modified in 1941 to the Italian Organisation for Intellectual Property.
- Between 1896 and 1929, the Society changed gradually into an organisation which operated expressly in the economic sector, anticipating its role as intermediary between authors and executors.
- In 1999, Legislative Decree no. 419 defined the Society as a public body.
On 26 April 2005, the SIAE was placed under the supervision of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities according to the provisions of Law no. 109/2005, a conversion of Decree Law no. 63.
 SIAE’s intermediary activity
The protection of intellectual property is specifically dealt with under Law no. 633/1941. In this law the fifth section is dedicated to organisations of public law (thus, SIAE) for the protection and application of author’s rights.
This consists of the assignment to the SIAE, exclusively, of the intermediary activity, however it may be implemented, under each form of intervention (direct or indirect), mediation, mandate, delegation and also relinquishment for the enforcement of rights of representation, execution, recitation, broadcasting and reproduction by any technical means of protected works.
Such activity is practised to carry out:
- Concession, on behalf of, and in the interests of the rightsholder, of licences and authorisations for the exploitation of protected works.
- Calculation of the proceeds deriving from said licences and authorisations.
- Allocation of said proceeds between the righstholders.
The organisation’s activity, moreover, will be carried out according to the laws established by the regulations in foreign countries in which there is an organised agency.
Initially, the violation of the sole right was punishable by prosecution, but the sanctioning order has been diminished by the ‘decriminalisation’ effect and currently, only the administrative sanction can be applied.
Therefore the management of a large part of the exploitation rights of works is entirely entrusted to the SIAE, yet safeguarding the author’s power, as well as his/her successors or those having cause, to exercise their known rights. Only in Italy does this phenomenon of entrustment of intermediary activity to a single society happen. In short, SIAE’s business is the concession of ‘licences’ and ‘authorisations’, and the collection of related fees, determined by the Society.
 Diminishment of sole rights
The introduction of EU regulations has ensured that the sole right of intermediation remains diminished. It remains forbidden to form new intermediary organisations, but now, the author (further to the option of self-protection of rights) can freely register with author associations in any of the other 26 countries of the European Union. This right is now clearly stated on the SIAE’s website.
The SIAE does not create intellectual property rights, it only protects those who deposit their works to the organisation with the aim of protecting the property rights and other related rights. (l. 248/2000) The deposit is not compulsory, since the author’s rights subsist purely from the work’s creation and therefore other means can be used to demonstrate the holder of the rights, such as Copyzero.
According to Article 180bis of Law no. 633, the only case in which the deposit is compulsory is due to the bodies which retransmit the work via cable (a technology which is not widely used in Italy). Therefore this does not include broadcasting of any means.
The SIAE is specifically responsible for the protection of property rights, composed of around 600 agents, 13 regional headquarters and 34 branches, to which many Italian and foreign productions are sent. SIAE agents can perform financial checks (in agreement with the Italian Revenue Agency) on public performances and on amateur sports clubs described by l.398/91, as from Presidential Decree 640/72.
The SIAE also works with ENPALS (an Italian organisation for performing artists and professional sports people). The SIAE is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities to promote studies and initiatives aimed at motivating young Italian authors and facilitating the publication of works broadcast via television networks.
The person who holds the intellectual property rights is the author; that is, the creator of the work. If the work is a collective effort, then each co-author has the same rights.
 How to register
An author can entrust the protection of his/her work to the SIAE by mandate or membership. The right to stand as a candidate and to vote in the election of the governing bodies of the Society is given to members, who must also pay an annual fee. This differs from mandates; those who register by mandate must renew the protection of their works every four years. Authors, publishers and agents who do not hold citizenship of a country in the European Union can protect their work through SIAE but cannot join the organisation. They must establish a mandate. Children can register for free, through a mandate valid until 31 December of the year in which the child turns 18.
 Pseudonym and professional name
Authors who choose to register as associates can (with additional payment) register their works under a pseudonym or professional name. There is no real etymological difference between the two terms. However, according to the SIAE, a pseudonym is simply an alternative name to that given at birth, while a professional name is one by which the artist is known by the media and their fans. Protecting a work under a professional name is less expensive compared to a pseudonym, but documentation (newspaper articles, websites, discs, posters) is required to prove that the artist is known by that name.
 How to deposit works
To deposit a work, the author must lodge a deposit application, along with an unedited copy signed by each author at their nearest SIAE branch. For works of music or video, that is, those not produced on paper, the full signature of all authors, and other rightsholders if any, must be placed – together with the title - on an adhesive label stuck directly on the carrier.
 Economic rights
The duration of economic rights ends 70 years after the author’s death. In the case of works created by more than one author, i.e. jointly or collectively, this period ends 70 years after the death of the last living author. Subsequently, the work becomes public property and is available for use without authorisation, and without the need to agree intellectual property compensation. Creative elaborations of a pre-existing work still under copyright must be authorised by the rightsholder. The duration of protection over derivative work is 70 years after the elaborator’s death. The same rules apply to translations of a work into a language different to that of the original. The main exploitation rights of a work are:
- The right to reproduction: that is, the right to produce copies of the work, material or otherwise
- The right to execution, representation, recitation, or rather, public reading of the work: that is, the right to present the work to a physically present audience through the various means of communication specified above
- The right to public communication: that is, the right to broadcast the work to a distant audience
- The right to distribution: that is, the right to sell the work or make it available to the public
- The right to adaptation: that is, the right to modify the original work
Economic rights are exclusive: they allow the author to authorise the use of his/her work and to receive the associated financial benefits. Furthermore, property rights can be surrendered to a third party, in all the forms permitted by law. However, moral rights cannot be transferred.
 Moral rights
The SIAE also looks after the moral rights of a work. These are maintained even after the exploitation rights have been relinquished. The main rights are:
- The right to the provenance of the work.
- The right to the integrity of the work.
- The right to oppose the work’s publication.
However, when a work has already been published and introduced to the market, an author can no longer oppose its publication, unless the integrity rights have been damaged.
 See also
- Il testo della legge Website of the Italian Parliament.
- Legge 9 gennaio 2008, n. 2, Disposizioni concernenti la Società italiana degli autori ed editori.
- Diritti di utilizzazione economica
- Diritti morali