Everyone knows the word “copyright“, but few people know what it really is.
It is enshrined in Art 6 law 633/41: The original title of the purchase of copyright is constituted by the creation of the work, as a particular expression of intellectual work.
It’s a right that aim to protect the authorship of any work from the very moment it’s being shaped.
According to the Italian law it is not necessary, in order to be authors of a work, that it presents signatures or symbols such as that of Copyright © or registered trademarks.
The copyright is automatically ours when the work comes to light.
The creation of the work itself is enough for the intellectual work of which it is an expression to be recognized.
You may object that with all the sharing means available, for example Instagram for photos and videos, anyone could take ownership of contents copied and pasted by other users.
Unfortunately, it is true, but it will be enough to adopt some small tricks to protect your creativity and therefore your copyright.
First of all, when you share a photograph, for example, always make sure that it is possible to trace who shoot it.
Second, adopt a strategy that allows the photograph to be seen but not used in turn.
The simplest and most used means for this is the watermark.
I don’t particularly like this type of copyright protection: in many cases, it is invasive in the photo and can be eliminated in a moment with photoshop.
The watermark is some sort of filigree that is applied to the file and that identifies its author.
Browsing online, it is not difficult to come across photos “stamped” with the author’s name in semi-transparency, usually right in the center of the photo.
If on the one hand this tool proves to be very effective for protecting copyright.
On the other hand it slightly undermines the usability of the photograph itself.
It is annoying to see the watermark in a photo.
If we digitalize the artwork “Starry Night” with Van Gogh’s signature imprinted in the middle of the painting, there is no doubt that it would not arouse the same emotions as the watermark-less one.
The exif data of a photo identifies the author in the information of the photo, but this is also easily bypassed.
Legally the author is always protected, as already said, even without the use of this means of prevention.
There have been striking cases of substantial compensations for the use of photographs for commercial purposes.
Also for awareness-raising campaigns whose authors had not been made aware of.
To conclude, always keep in mind the “dangers” to which a photograph is submitted when shared.
Without forgetting that the copyright was born together with the work.