Deletion of humanum est. Copy autem diabolicum.
Abstract by Federico Manfredi
Ruling by Judge Silvia Giani , dated July 25, confirmed the earlier precedent-setting decision, modifying the part prohibiting the marketing of the packaging of the disc “Is this life we really want?”, inflicting a penalty of €100 for every infringement. The case, which made the headlines the world over, regards the extreme resemblance of Roger Waters’ new album to some works by the famed artist Emilio Isgrò. The artist, counseled by our firm, claimed copyright infringement of some of his works including “Cancellations” 1964. Sony Music Entertainment Italy argued that the erasing technique used was not copyright-protected as an idea.
The Judge, adhering to the arguments presented by Salvatore Trifirò and Francesco Autelitano, found for plagiarism in the expressive form of the artist’s idea and not in the artistic idea itself. Indeed one cannot be denied the right to use the cancellation effect, but this may not justify the plagiarism of the works of Isgrò through mere production of some cancellations. Such were the cogent arguments that led the Milan Tribunal to make a decision with worldwide ramifications, setting a precedent in the history of national and non-copyright law.