Who makes a creative work of creative nature, in addition to have the economic copyright rights, benefits also of moral copyright law. Let’s see in detail what the articles of the law say about it.
Article 20, 1) of the Copyright law of Italy provides that:
“Regardless of the exclusive rights of exploitation of the work, as provided in the provisions of the previous section, and even after the transfer of those rights, the author retains the right to claim authorship of the work and to oppose any distortion, mutilation or any act that would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation”.
According to article 21,
“the author of an anonymous and pseudonymous work has always the right to reveal himself and to let public know his identity of author. Notwithstanding any previous and opposite agreement, if the author revealed himself, his successors will be obliged to show his name in publications, reproductions, transcriptions, performances, acting and diffusion or any further event or announcement to the public”.
Moral right is composed of two aspects: the right of ownership and the right to the integrity of the work. Moral rights is imprescriptible, inalienable and not renounceable. It follows that any assignment of moral rights is invalid.
After the death of the author, moral rights may be exercised by his spouse (or her husband) and children or, in their absence, by parents, ascendants and descendants and, in the absence thereof, by brothers and sisters and their descendants (article 23, copyright law).
It is controversial if, in case of transfer of economic rights, the author keeps the right to oppose the destruction of his work thanks to moral rights. At the moment prevailing opinion in case law denies this possibility, as it excludes the destruction of the work may injure the honor or reputation of the author.
Article 24, 1) states that
“the right to publish unpublished works is due to the author’s heirs or to the legatees of the works themselves, unless the author has expressly forbidden to publish such woks or entrusted the publication to others”.
If the work was unfinished at the time of death of the author, subjects specified in article 23 (spouse/husband and children, direct ascendants and descendants, brothers and sisters and their descendants) will decide whether or not to publish the work, in the interest of protecting the memory of the author against the risk of disclosure an unfinished work.
In the opinion of a large part of the legal doctrine, should be included in the list of moral rights – as personal, inalienable and not renounceable – the right provided for in article 142 of Copyright law, which states:
“ The author, if there are serious moral reasons, has the right to withdraw its work form the market, except for the obligation to compensate those who purchased the rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, represent or sell such work. This right is personal and not transferable”.