With the publishing contract
“the author allows a publisher the right to publish, on behalf and at the expense of such publisher, the intellectual work” (Article 118, Italian Copyright Law).
The publishing contract must be evidenced in writing, in accordance with Article 110 of Law n. 633/1941.
The author is obliged to deliver the work “in the form that does not make too difficult or costly to print it”, “to ensure peaceful enjoyment of the right granted for the duration of the contract” (basically, the author must guarantee exclusive authorship of the work and that economic exploitation rights have not been assigned to others) and “to correct the drafts according to the conditions established by custom” (Article 125, Italian Copyright Law). The author can modify its work to his taste but cannot change the character and purpose of the work, until the work is not published, but must bear the extra costs resulting from the change. The author shall have the same rights in respect of the new editions.
Obligations for publisher
The publisher is obliged to reproduce the work and put it up for sale under the name of the author, anonymous or pseudonymous if so provided in the contract, and to pay the agreed remuneration. The publisher cannot introduce any change to the work.
Unless otherwise agreed, the publisher is normally granted the rights of reproduction and putting the work in the market.
Unless the parties have otherwise agreed, the publisher shall not have the rights of processing, translating and transformation of the work.
Kind of contracts: per edition and term contract
According to Article 122 of Italian Copyright Law, the publishing contract can be “per edition” or “term contract”. In particular:
The contract per edition gives the publisher the right to perform one or more editions within twenty years after the delivery of the completed manuscript. The contract must indicate the number of editions and the number of copies of each edition. However, it is possible to consider more events, either in respect of the number of editions and the number of specimens, both in respect of the remuneration.
Whether there are not such indications the contract is considered to be concluded for a single edition and for the maximum number of two thousand copies.
As for the term contract, it is stated in Article 122:
“The publishing term contract gives the publisher the right to produce all the number of issues he estimates necessary during the period, which cannot exceed twenty years, and the minimum number of copies of each edition, which must be specified in the contract, under penalty of nullity of the contract. The period of twenty years shall not apply to contracts concerning:
- Encyclopedias, dictionaries;
- Sketches, drawings, cartoons, illustrations, photographs and similar, for industrial use;
- Works of cartography;
- Dramatic-musical and symphonic works”.
In case the publishing contract ( “per edition” or “term contract”) provides more than one edition , the publisher shall be required to notify the author about the estimated time of exhaustion of the current edition , giving reasonable notice before said time.
At the same time, the publisher must declare to the author whether or not he wishes to realize a new edition (Article 124, Copyright Law). If the publisher stated to renounce to a new edition or, although declared the intention to proceed he does not do it within two years from the declaration, the contract is considered to be terminated.
The author has the right to receive damaged for non new-edition, if there are not good reasons from the publisher.