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John Cabot University acknowledges and respects Italian and US copyright laws. The major law regulating reproduction and distribution of protected works in Italy is Law No. 633 of April 22, 1941, on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights, which has been recently amended by the Legislative Decree No. 177 of November 8, 2021, on the Reception of the Directive (EU) 2019/790 of 17 April 2019 on Copyright and Related rights in the Digital Single Market.

Copyright issues are very complex, especially for an academic institution operating in a transnational environment. American users should note that the US tradition of "fair use" has no equivalent in Italian law, which provides very limited exceptions for teaching and research. Therefore we encourage all users to ask for information before doing anything that may result in copyright infringement.

The following table illustrates the most common lawful practices for John Cabot University.


Article 68, § 3-5 states that a single batch of photocopies from original works held by the Library can be made within the limit of 15% of the original (advertisement pages are not included in the count). Rare and out-of-print works can be copied entirely.

Notes: as per Article 181-ter, libraries pay a private copying levy. For John Cabot University the yearly amount is established by the SIAE-AACUPI Agreement.


Article 69, § 1 grants borrowing rights to library users, with a limitation for audiovisual materials which are subject to an 18-month embargo from their distribution date or a 24-month embargo from their creation date.


Small excerpts can occasionally be distributed in print in class according to Article 70, § 1, on condition that full citation of sources used is included (§ 3).

Article 22 of the Regolamento per l'esecuzione della L. 22 aprile 1941, n. 633 sets the following limits: 

  • Prose: 12,000 characters
  • Poetry: 180 verses (plus additional 30 if necessary)
  • Music: 20 measures
  • Film: 50 meters 



Multiple batches of photocopies for course packs can be done through John Cabot University’s CLEARedi educational license, which is managed by the Library. CLEARedi operates on behalf of Italian rights holders and in conjunction with sister foreign organizations to clear multiple reproduction rights not permitted by the law. The License covers:

Publishers generally limit authorizations to 15% of the original. When copies exceed this limit, a special permission must be requested to either CLEARedi or the publisher.

If interested in creating a course pack, Faculty are required to submit a detailed bibliography to the Librarians, who will then check right holders' authorizations, put readings together, send them to an authorized copy center, and account for due royalties.


Even when publicly available on the Internet, online resources are still subject to copyright protection, and can be reproduced on websites, intranet sites, and course management systems only if it is explicitly permitted in their copyright notice. 

It is always preferable to link to the original source, rather than uploading a copy, especially if then the copy can be downloaded and further shared. Moreover, content owners can also set restricted linking policies which will need to be checked.

The publication of small excerpts for critical analysis, research and teaching is regulated by Article 70, whose paragraph 1-bis allows low-resolution, low-grade images and music to be posted on the web, strictly for non-commercial use.


Reproduction of materials available in library databases is regulated by terms of use in each vendor's license. The partial reproduction for personal, non-commercial use is authorized. Publication on websites, intranet sites, and course management systems is normally not permitted, while linking to the original source is allowed, with some restrictions from a few publishers.


Article 70-bis §1 states that the distribution of copyrighted works through digital platforms is allowed only for summary, quotation, reproduction (therefore also the scanning of a printed work), translation, and adaptation of excerpts or parts of the works (therefore not a full article or a chapter, nor an entire book due to the aforementioned limits). This limitation is justified by the purpose of illustration for teaching. The materials distributed through the digital platform, or learning management system:

- are accessible only to authenticated faculty and students enrolled in the course;
- do not constitute competition for the purchase of the same work;
- are not musical scores or works intended primarily for the education market.

Since the law explicitly calls into question the responsibility of the educational establishment (in our case John Cabot University), faculty might be requested not to publish the uploaded content, if deemed in violation of the law.
In any case, the summary, quotation and reproduction of passages or parts of works and other materials is always accompanied by the indication of the source.