SIAE’s stickers on carriers
The Italian copyright law n. 633/1941 states (art. 181 bis) that each carrier containing computer or multimedia programs, as well as on each carrier
(CD, cassette, video, CD Rom, DVD etc.) containing sounds, voices or images in motion, bearing the fixation of works or parts of works protected by the Italian
copyright law (art.1, para.1, law n. 633/1941) and destined to be marketed or transferred under whatever title with a gainful intent, must have a SIAE’s
sticker on it.
SIAE itself performs the task to affix the sticker, that is to ‘stamp’ carriers. The release and use of the sticker are ruled by Decree n.31 of the President of the Council of Ministers dated February 23, 2009, as published in the OJ of April 6, 2009.
What is SIAE’s sticker and what is its function?
SIAE’s sticker is a means of authentication and warrant, which is useful both for the police and consumers to distinguish between the original
work and the pirated copy, and to identify its producers and dealers.
How is it made and how can it be obtained?
Over the years SIAE has constantly adjourned the techniques to contrast the attempts to counterfeit its sticker, commonly referred to as “SIAE sticker”.
The sticker, which is currently released by all of SIAE’s Regional offices (with the exclusion of the one in
Venice), by the local offices of Ancona, Cagliari, Catania, Genoa, Perugia, Pescara, Trieste and Verona and its branch offices of Bolzano and
Venice-Mestre has the following characteristics:
SIAE’s sticker is usually applied on the packaging of the support both for visibility and to prevent its removal or transfer on another carrier.
- It’s irreproducible and, once applied, cannot be removed without making it useless;
It’s metalized, therefore it cannot be photocopied or scanned and contains elements to prevent counterfeit which are not visible to the naked eye;
- SIAE’s logo is printed on it with a special thermo-reagent ink;
It contains a variety of information which show the following: a) title of the work, b) name of the producer, c) the type of carrier (CD, CD ROM, audio
cassette, video, etc.) d) type of sale permitted, e) general progressive numbering f) progressive numbering of the work in question.
The amount for each sticker is of 0.0310 euro. This amount is reduced to 0.0181 euro for stickers to be placed on carriers distributed free of charge or
together with publications sold without price increase according to the provisions of the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of December
Since this activity refers to the protection of intellectual property, it is not subject to VAT as per art. 3, par. 4, of the Presidential
Decree n. 663/1972.
Whoever, with a gainful intent, holds for sale and distribution, markets, sells, rents, transfers under whatever title, publicly shows, broadcasts through
radio or television videocassettes, musicassettes, any carrier containing phonograms or videograms of musical, cinematographic or audiovisual works or sequences
of images in motion, or any other carrier that according to law n .633/1941 should bear SIAE’s sticker, without or with a counterfeited or altered SIAE
stamp, shall be liable to imprisonment of between six months and three years and a fine from 2,582.00 to 15,493.00 euros (art 171 ter, lett.d, law n. 633/1941).
The same punishment can be applied to anyone who, with gainful intent, duplicates computer programs or imports, distributes, sells, holds for commercial and
entrepreneurial reasons, or lease away programs contained in carriers without SIAE’s sticker (art 171 bis, par. 1, law n.633/1941);
and to anyone who, for his own profit, reproduces, transfers on another carrier, distributes, communicates, presents or demonstrates in public the content of
data banks on carriers without the SIAE’s sticker, infringing the articles 64 quinquies e 64 sexies of the above stated law, or whoever extracts or
re-employs the data bank, thus infringing articles 102 bis and 102 ter of the same law, or distributes, sells or rents a data bank shall be liable to
imprisonment of between six months to three years and a fine from 5,000,000 to 30,000,000 of the old lira. The penalty shall be imprisonment of not less
than two years and a fine of not less than 15,493.00 euros if the offence is serious.
Anyone buying or renting audiovisual, phonographic, multimedia carriers or computer programs which do not conform with the law provisions, or devices, products
or components which main purpose is to circumvent any technological measure of protection, shall be liable to the administrative pecuniary penalty of 154 euros
and to the ancillary sanctions of the forfeiture of the materials and of the publication of the sentence in a national newspaper (art. 174 ter, law 633/1941).
In some cases (stated on par. 3 of art. 181 bis of law n. 633/1941), after performing the obligations related to the author’s copyright
and neighbouring rights, if any, the sticker can be substituted by the proper identifying declaration, as per the provision of art. 6 of
DPCM n. 31 of February 23rd 2009.
This happens when the carriers contain computer programs (disciplined by the legislative decree n. 518 of December 29th 1992), used exclusively
through electronic processors, and must not contain sounds, voices or sequences of images in motion such as to be complete phonographic
works, cinematographic or audiovisual works, which were not expressly made for the computer program, or their excerpts or parts exceeding 50
percent of the entire work from which they were taken, which may arise competition for the economical use of the same works.
The identifying declaration
substituting the sticker:
For control purposes, SIAE can request the safeguarded copy as well as all information and documents referring to the elements listed in the declaration.
- Can be sent or brought directly to SIAE by rightholder or by his representative and must be received by SIAE before the sale or the import of the carriers
(the material therefore must be sent in a manner suitable to ascertain the date in which it was received by SIAE).
- Self-declaration of the authenticity of the carriers, their conformity with the survey listed on par. 3 of art. 181 bis of law n. 633/1941, which attest the
discharge of all duties stated in the copyright law and all neighbouring rights, in case the programs contain protected works, pieces, or excerpts.
- Must show all information such as the title of the product, the personal data of the declarer, the identifying code of the product (if available), the subject and
place where the declarer commits himself to safeguard a copy of the declared work for at least the three years following the sale period.
Because of their peculiar characteristics and functions, the following categories containing Pc programs of any operational utility as strictly listed
in art. 5.3 of DPCM n.31 of February 23rd 2009 are excluded from the application of art 181 bis of law n. 633/1941 (therefore subject neither to the sticker
application nor to the presentation of the identifying declaration substituting the sticker):
Finally, according to art. 7 DPCM n. 338 of July 11th 2001, the carriers that radio and television networks manufacture for technical purposes related to
their broadcasting activity in the respect of authors’ rights and neighbouring rights, are excluded from the application of SIAE’s sticker and identifying
declaration, with the exception of the carriers sold or leased to a third party for lucrative purposes.
- carriers distributed as an accessory in case of sale of multiple license contracts on the basis of previous agreements with SIAE;
- carriers distributed free of charge with the consent of the rightowner;
- carriers distributed through download and then installed on the user’s personal computer through the server and Internet websites. These programs
cannot be registered with lucrative purposes on carriers different from the user’s processor, with the exception of the personal copy (back up).
- carriers exclusively distributed for the functioning or managing of specific drivers, for the updating of the system or the resolution of hardware and
software conflicts deriving from already installed software;
- carriers exclusively distributed for the functioning of telecommunication systems such as modems or terminals, GPRS systems (General Pocket Radio Service),
radio-mobile cellular phones, or included in audio/visual equipments and indispensable for its correct operation, if packaged with the above stated machinery
and designed for their functioning.
- carriers included in machines for industrial production, managing of transportation and mobility systems and transportation of goods, and in equipments
destined to control or programming of electrical appliances; if packaged with the above and designed for their functioning.
- carriers included in machines for biological or chemical analysis, or the management, measuring, analysis of medical, sanitary equipment; if packaged
with the above and designed for their functioning.
- carriers destined exclusively to the aid or support of disabled people according to law n. 104 of February 5, 1992;
- carriers functioning as operating systems, applications, or servers destined to be pre-installed on electronic processors and distributed to the final
user with the processor itself.
According to art. 7 DPCM n.31, February 23rd, 2009 are excluded from the application of SIAE’s sticker and identifying declaration:
The carriers realized by disk jockeys, duly authorized by SIAE exclusively for their use within the frame of their professional activities, provided that
said carriers are not commercialized nor sold for profit;
The carriers attached to books reproducing the full or partial content of the books themselves (dictionaries, practice books, and the like), provided that
they are not commercialized separately from the books;
The books containing sound or music microchips strictly linked to the use of the work itself.