The website and intellectual property
With the development of new technologies and the advent of Web 2.0, the need to interface with the issue of protecting the rights recognized by the owner of a multimedia work, in particular a website, portals and / or pages similar to them.
The creator of an Internet site, a web page, an App or multimedia content can consider themselves authors of a work of genius like a writer, a musician or an artist?
To address this problem, however, we must answer a preliminary question: what kind of work is the web page? According to majority opinion, it falls into a new category of works, the c.d. multimedia works, that is creations that combine in a single product works of different genres (words, images, sounds, etc.), normally available through different means of communication, but whose coexistence is ensured by a homogeneous format, the digital one.
In other words, in order for a given work to be considered multimedia, it must have three fundamental requisites: expression in digital form, coexistence of different works of genius and functioning thanks to a management software.
The majority doctrine believes that a particular type of multimedia work made up of the elements mentioned above and combined among them, is precisely the Web site.
The website in fact enjoys protection under the law on the right to self-defense which states that: “the creative works of a creative nature belonging to literature, music, figurative arts, are protected under this law architecture, theater and cinematography, whatever the way or the form of expression “.
The Internet site can be included among the “creative works of a creative nature”, as long as it includes a level of creativity such as to merit such protection.
The latter is added to the (single) one that the individual elements that make up the web page enjoy, such as, for example, texts, photos, graphics, music; in fact, if these elements are considered as individual works of genius, as long as they have the characteristics of “creativity and novelty” mentioned above, they will enjoy their independent protection.
Often the creation of a website or even just a page is the result of the collaboration of several individuals who, individually and in different proportions, will have provided their material contribution to various aspects of the work.
The subjects who in fact cooperated in the creation of the work and contributed with their ingenuity to provide elements of novelty and creativity to the web page, indistinguishable from each other, may be called coauthors of the work and therefore co-owners of the copyright on the same . If, on the other hand, the work is collective, or the result of the meeting of works or parts of works that have the character of autonomous creation, the rights will be given to those who organize and direct the work without any prejudice to the copyright on the works or on the parts of works used to create the multimedia work.
Therefore, even if the contents of the website are ordinary and common but arranged in a creative and innovative way by the author, the website can be considered as intellectual work and obtain the aforementioned protection.
In conclusion, when a fraudulent or unauthorized use of the contents of a web page occurs as a case recognized by the law on copyright, the protections foreseen therein will be triggered: the author may request the suspension of undue exploitation of his ingenuity as well as claiming compensation for the damage actually suffered and the loss of earnings resulting from the illegitimate use.