A client of our firm has been sued by the co-author with her of a literary work in order to claim exclusive authorship.
This was despite the fact that the work had been deposited at the SIAE (Italian collective body for protection of copyright) in the name of both of them and had been sold by them in that capacity to a production company for a film.
Having objected to such circumstances as a clear demonstration of the co-authorship of the work, in the absence of proof to the contrary by the party claiming to be the exclusive owner, the Court of Rome rejected the counterparty’s claim, condemning her also for reckless litigation to compensate damages in favour of our client.
In fact, the Court affirmed that the party claiming exclusive authorship has the burden of proving the absence of any contribution of other parties to the creation of the work, to such an extent as to overturn the legal presumptions relating to the ownership of the work (creation of the work also in the case in which it is referable to a plurality of parties pursuant to articles 6-10 of the copyright law, indication of the authors on the cover of the work pursuant to article 8 of the same law and the deposit in the SIAE register pursuant to article 103 of the law).
With regard to the action brought in recklessness, the Court affirmed the plaintiff’s awareness of the joint authorship and the diametrically opposed conduct prior to the trial.
(Tribunal of Rome, specialised section for companies, 16/03/2021).