Copyright has the purpose of legally protecting the contents or intellectual property developed by an author, be it literary, artistic, musical or cinematographic, which is recognized as creative, original and novel. Computer programs and databases are included in this protection. Copyright legislation varies according to the country in which the work is produced but is essentially regulated by the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works which establishes the mutual recognition of copyright among participating countries. While author’s rights are defined as the rights of the person, regulating his or her moral and patrimonial rights as the creator rather than the created material, copyright is essentially the right of reproduction and therefore of economic exploitation, thus relating to purely economic aspects.
Today, the regulation of reproduction rights is still based on the principles of the Ronchey Law (1993) and its subsequent evolution; in fact, for the first time the intervention of private individuals was introduced and regulated in the enhancement of the cultural heritage reserved for the offer of ‘additional services’ intended for the public in institutes and places of culture. Following this legislative intervention, a tariff plan was adopted in which fees and charges were determined for various types of image use and reproduction. For further information on the main case law on copyright, see the Italian legislation; Community legislation; the international regulations made available by the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers).
Third-party content is content whose authorship and copyright belong to a third-party and not to the author of the work. The most typical third-party content is non-textual content such as: images, illustrations, photographs, tables, graphs, audio, video, cinematic images, screenshots, and musical notations. This also includes textual content from other authors or the author of the work (for example, reproductions of articles, essays, chapters already published elsewhere). The use of third-party content is permitted in an open access volume without an explicit disclaimer provided that the author is able to secure the necessary deadlines for the material to be published in open access and provides a caption clearly acknowledging the source and the license to use the material (hypothesis to be meticulously verified). Specifically, it is of note that FUP publications are both in hardcopy and digital format, in “controlled access” (commercial) and in “open access” in harmony and collaboration with the University’s policies. For further details see Open Access, Copyright and Licensing policy and Regulation.
In the event of the text being accompanied by textual or non-textual apparatuses covered by rights, it is the author’s responsibility to find the institutions or private individuals who hold the copyright, make any payments for the right of reproduction and provide the Publisher with a copy of the disclaimers granted.
It is already stipulated in the publishing contract that the work provided is free from third-party rights and the author, assuming responsibility, guarantees the Publisher the full originality and availability of the text and other contents, and agrees to hold the Publisher harmless from any third-party claims.
Therefore, the production of the disclaimer form is a preparatory act both for the completion of the publishing contract and for the beginning of the proofreading, layout and graphic preparation operations. As contacting the copyright holders and obtaining the necessary authorizations can be a long and complex operation, it is recommended to start the procedure in advance to avoid impediments that could delay publication.
Most images can be found on the internet (although almost always in low resolution and therefore in poor-quality formats) and it is erroneously believed that they can be downloaded and used without explicit authorization. Instead, it is always necessary to locate the image’s source and, in the event that it is not possible or too expensive to obtain the reproduction rights, to delete the selected image. Regarding the reproduction of images, some useful information is provided below for the preliminary selection, obtaining of rights of use and correct compilation of the descriptive caption.
Public domain images are those whose terms for economic exploitation have expired (in Italy, generally 70 years after the author's death for fine art images and photographs and 20 years for non-art photographs, whereas other countries may adhere to different lengths of time) and/or do not have a copyright owner.
In most cases the terms for economic exploitation have no expiry, despite more than 70 years having elapsed since the date of author’s death because the rights of the work’s owners take over (for example, a museum) from whom requests permission to reproduce the work must be obtained, almost always involving an economic contribution. Only in the event that there is no copyright owner, can such images be used freely by anyone, for any purpose without paying copyright fees or asking permission. Some museums, libraries and archives make public domain images available for academic publications, although the permitted uses and any restrictions may vary.
Images with a Creative Commons license are images that are subject to permits that regulate the use of the work which the copyright holder grants to a generality of undefined subjects and under certain conditions. Below is a summary of the six types of licenses provided according to the Commons Deed (i.e. the summary symbols):
Credit must be given to the creator > This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.
Credit must be given to the creator – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted > This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.
Credit must be given to the creator – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted > This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.
Credit must be given to the creator – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms > This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
Credit must be given to the creator – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms > This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
Credit must be given to the creator – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted > This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.
Wikimedia Commons or Flickr Commons are among the most visited digital archives and have a large collection of images erroneously believed to be freely usable but it is necessary to understand that any single image could be covered by restrictions (for example, usage licenses could vary between countries). The author may decide to grant certain freedoms to users of his or her work, provided that certain conditions are met. Also, it is important to note that the copyright information is provided by the person who uploads the image on the portal, therefore it is always necessary to verify its accuracy. It is necessary to carefully check the license even if the search results have been filtered by ticking the ‘Creative Commons licenses’ option in the Search Tools > Right to Use in Google Images.
There are many microstock agencies which are intermediaries in the sale of images. These sites have sophisticated search capabilities, and a large assortment of high-quality images. The licensing costs vary considerably according to the modalities, the format, the conditions of access, the countries of diffusion, the collocation (interior/cover), and the dimensions. Therefore, the cost of the license is not always available automatically, but rather only after selecting the appropriate options.
Self-produced images are those whose authorship belongs to the creator of the work (for example, a photograph taken by the authors themselves). The photograph of a work of art, even if taken with one’s own camera, falls within the same limitations as the reproduction of an original work of art. Therefore, being in possession of a photograph depicting a work of art does not give the right to use it and the necessary authorizations must be requested from the body that possesses the rights to said work.
It is not always possible to modify or rework an image protected by copyright or by CC licenses to produce a new ‘self-produced’ image.
Images covered by copyright fall within the definition of intellectual works, i.e. those which are recognized as being creative, original and novel. It is not easy to distinguish between a creative image (for example, photographic portraits or reproductions of paintings and sculptures) and a simple image (for example, an amateur photo of a garden), there is in fact no law establishing evaluation criteria.
In the case of choosing to use an image covered by copyright, it will be necessary to find the source, make a formal request and obtain an official reproduction permit: the disclaimer.
A disclaimer is a document granted by the rights holder that explicitly authorizes the publication of an image free of charge or after payment of reproduction costs. For example, for the reproduction of works of art it is necessary to contact the institution (typically the Images/Reproductions and Rights Office of the public museum or private gallery where the work is kept) and request information about the procedure to follow. For the reproduction of a manuscript or papyrus, it will most likely be necessary to contact the Library or Archive where the document is conserved. Most institutions have their own disclaimer available for this use (for example, the Museum of Rome) however, a form is provided here; it contains all information most frequently required. It is important to always specify whether the image will be reproduced in the body of the publication or on the cover (or both), because in most cases the location involves a different handling (and, in the case of reproduction on the cover, almost always a higher cost). Generally, it is possible to obtain the identification data of the work to be reproduced from the form available in the online digital archives of the place of conservation; in this way, the work of those involved in issuing the disclaimer is facilitated, guaranteeing fluidity in the publication process. For example, see the description and cataloging of the Birth of Venus on the Uffizi website; or the link to the digitized manuscript Vat.lat.3225 of the Vatican Library, that allows to leaf through the document in order to precisely indicate the page or pages which will be reproduced (for example, XVIIr); or the image of PSI XI 1221 available on the “Papiri della Società Italiana” website which has a page dedicated to the Authorizations and Rights Policy. After publication, a hard copy is often required to be sent to the institution granting reproduction of the image.
A caption is a brief illustrative comment placed under an image, document, figure, table, photograph, etc. which fulfills two purposes: it exactly describes the content, and it outlines the license for use. Therefore, it goes without saying that for all types of content it is necessary to correctly cite the source and specify whether the content is free from rights or covered by copyright. Usually, the same subject who grants the disclaimer also provides the correct caption to be inserted to clarify the copyright attributes.
For further information, please refer to paragraph 3.7 and related subparagraphs of the Guide for FUP Authors.