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Italy's Supreme Court: "Three Little Pigs" and "Snow White" enter the public domain

Submitted by Andrea Glorioso on Thu, 20/12/2007 - 15:43

Italy's Supreme Court ruled that two animated features produced by the Walt Disney Company, "Three Little Pigs" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", have officially entered the Italian public domain.

With a technical and complex language, the rule (number 38721 of 27/06/2007, registered on 19/10/2007) focuses also on the excessive duration of authors' rights (pursuant to legislative decree n. 440 of 20/07/1945) and takes into account the effects of World War II in Italy. The ruling is extremely important insofar as the Corte di Cassazione does not recognise any separate right over the drawings that are used to create an animated feature, beyond the rights over the animated feature itself.

This is relevant when considering that authors' rights over drawings last for 70 years after the author's death, while those over a film - or an animated feature - is 50 years after the work has been fixed in a medium or, if the work has been published or distributed to the public in the meantime, after the first publication or public distribution (whichever comes first).

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