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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

      M E D I A   L A W   

      I N T E R N A T I O N A L   ®



      While a new regulation is being discussed at the EU level in relation to AI, the Italian DPA proved to be particularly active in this regard. For example, in March 2023, it issued an urgent order that blocked ChatGPT in Italy.

Many critical points were raised, including the lack of transparency and an adequate legal basis for the processing of personal data for training purposes, the lack of an adequate age verification mechanism for users using the service, and the risks of processing inaccurate personal data.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic due to the massive data breaches reported during the year (which also affected operators in the industry); and the imminent implementation of several pieces of EU legislation in the Italian framework (expected by the end of the year), such as the NIS2 Directive, the DORA, the Data Governance Act, the Critical Entities Resilience Directive.

At the beginning of this year, the Italian Supreme Court ruled, albeit incidentally, on copyright infringement in relation to a work made through a computer program. Though the argument was not further examined because it was not timely raised, the Supreme Court confirmed how the use of software to generate an image is, in theory, compatible with the process that underlies the creation an intellectual work.

However, in such instance the creative contribution must be scrutinized more rigorously to verify whether and to what extent the use of the instrument (in this case, a software that generated images through mathematical algorithms) had “absorbed” the creative elaboration of the artist who had made use of it.  

As far as copyright is concerned, 2023 saw through the adoption of two regulations implementing some of the provisions that were introduced in the Italian copyright law as a result of the transposition of the DSM Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market.

These respectively regard the fair compensation for the online use of press publications, and the complaint and redress mechanism for online content-sharing service providers.

Other regulations are under way, including the one implementing the so-called “remuneration chapter” provisions of the DSM Directive, which will inter alia significantly impact the audio-visual industry and the relationship between producers and users on one side and authors and performers (plus collecting societies) on the other.

Interestingly, all these regulations have been delegated to the Italian communications authority (AGCOM), which was vested with a broad range of regulatory, supervising and sanctioning powers in the context of the transposition of the Directive.

AGCOM was also recently identified as the competent subject in relation to a new piece of legislation that is meant to fight piracy online (approved in August), and a technical table is now pending before it between stakeholders. Lastly, a significant reform amending the Italian industrial code was also approved last August.


Bird & Bird specialises in TMT and IP matters. The practice is recognised for its historic strength in technology and communications. Lawyers provide transactional support in the exploitation of rights, advice on data and privacy issues, content distribution and regulation. Other areas of expertise include sector-related tax, acquisitions and competition.

As noted by one client, “Gallavotti Bernardini & Partners has prominent experience in the audio-visual and theatrical industries”. Clients also praise the firm’s lawyers for their deep understanding and practice of international acquisitions and rights exploitation.” In representative work the firm acted for Turner’s group companies, part of Time Warner Group, on mergers and acquisitions, business development transactions, contractual and regulatory matters.  

The team at Hogan Lovells advises on TMT matters with a focus on antitrust at a compliance and litigation level. The team represents press publishers and broadcasters on regulation, distribution, franchising, unfair competition and copyright matters. The firm’s international focus on media and entertainment makes it a popular choice among local and global clients.  

Portolano Cavallo is appointed by clients on the basis of its “professional skills, deep knowledge of legal matters, commitment and strong relationship within the media industry and local authorities”. The firm represents television networks and assists with complex regulatory and privacy issues, on a domestic and international scale. Lawyers also advise on film, technology and advertising in contentious and non-contentious cases.


With an international focus on media and advertising, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is recognised as a leading firm for all matters connected with television, radio and publishing sectors. The practice is distinguished for its expertise in antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and sales of programming distribution rights.

Cugia Cuomo & Associati is well regarded by its clients who say, “Work was conducted against very challenging time scales. The firm produced detailed and clearly considered results to meet the deadlines set.” The TMT group is active in regulatory matters, data protection and entertainment, and is well regarded by clients, who also commented: “The complexity and innovative features of the issues under review meant it would have been very difficult for a general commercial law firm to have supported this work. We felt confident from the written advice provided and related discussions that the lawyers advising had a strong underlying knowledge.”


Advant Nctm is well regarded in the legal market and notably active in the broadcast and entertainment sectors. Local film production and distribution companies form part of the firm’s client base as do music companies and advertising agencies. The TMT practice also works with producers of video games and advises on corporate transactions that include joint ventures.  

Chiomenti has exceptional transactional experience acting for media clients including some of the largest commercial broadcasters. The TMT practice represents operators in the administrative and judicial courts, assists with regulatory matters and advises on the structuring of products and services. One broadcast clients commented: “Both senior and junior associates proved to have the required expertise. They are very strong in corporate law, M&A and antitrust.”

DLA Piper is exceptionally popular among media clients as one explains, “We have selected this firm for its outstanding media expertise. It is the firm to go to particularly for convergence and new media issues.” The firm’s media law team is part of the Intellectual Property and Technology department, and is recognised internationally for his extensive knowledge and experience. The team advises extensively on mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, on-demand content transmission deals and audio-visual production.

International firm Ponti - De Sanctis & Partners is highlighted by competitors as a “super leader for cinema.” The firm is a respected contender in the legal market and recognised for its work with entertainment and new technologies companies. The team advises on film and television financing, production and distribution, multimedia, music recording and publishing. The firm’s media team also specialises in copyright law and is experienced in assisting with rights management, stage rights licensing and talent representation.

Mondini Bonora Ginevra’s involvement in media sector work has heightened as has its position in the legal market. Peers point to increased activity and visibility as the firm handles a greater portion of media and entertainment work. The team assists clients from the music, cinema, home video and publishing industries in litigation and non-judicial matters.  


Media lawyers at BonelliErede have rigorous experience drafting contracts for convergence projects with mobile networks for digital television, outsourcing digital broadcasting networks and advising on the creation and operation of national digital broadcasting networks. The team also advises clients from the film, music and print industries.

Media lawyers at Carnelutti Law Firm handle cases “with great professional attention and proactively,” say clients. The firm represents leading local broadcasters including Discovery Italia, Telelombardia and Rock TV. The team advises on broadcasting and programming regulatory frameworks, convergence of media and network technologies and commercial contracts.

Legance provides specialist advice on competition matters connected with traditional media and the

internet, before national and EU regulators. TMT lawyers advise on contractual matters, data protection and regulation. The team also drafts and negotiates agreements for the supply and management of communications services. Other areas of focus include corporate transactions that include mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and capital increase.

Tonucci & Partners focusses on the broadcasting sector and has notable expertise in this area. The

firm’s work ranges from advice on film and television production and distribution to stage productions and

publishing. The TMT group also assists with the exploitation of all types of IP rights in the online gaming and e-commerce sectors.


Data protection, IT and IP segments drive media activity at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi. Work involves all aspects of privacy and data protection connected with the establishment and operation of websites in Italy. Lawyers also draft privacy policies and advise on data acquisition. The team works with entertainment sector clients on copyright matters and neighbouring rights.

Studio Legale Sutti focusses on advertising, copyright and competition. The team handles contentious and non-contentious cases for a range of clients. The firm’s media lawyers advise on licensing, unfair competition, antitrust, distribution and franchising. Litigation and arbitration are also among the firm’s key areas of practice.

Valli Mancuso & Associati acts for several foreign and local broadcasters. Lawyers assist free-to-air and pay-television companies with content acquisitions through purchase and license agreements.The team also represents sports clients on FIFA and the Italian football league on their trading of television, internet and radio rights.


Bird & Bird

Gallavotti Bernardini & Partners

Hogan Lovells

Portolano Cavallo


Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cugia Cuomo & Associati

emlex – Eva Maschietto Massimo Maggiore

Orsingher Ortu

Osborne Clarke


Advant Nctm  

Baker McKenzie


DLA Piper

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Ponti - De Sanctis & Partners

Mondini Bonora Ginevra




Carnelutti Law Firm


Franzosi Dal Negro Setti



Tonucci & Partners


Gianni & Origoni

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi

Monaco Studio Legale

Studio Legale Sutti

Valli Mancuso & Associati


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