Copyright protection varies from country to country. It may comprise the protection of the following works:

  • litarary works, such as books, newspaper articles, technical manuals, and software.
  • dramatic works, such as theater plays, ballet and mime.
  • artistic works, such as paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, photographs, diagrams, maps, works of architecture and works of artistic craftsmanship.
  • musical works, such as symphonies, pop music, jingles, ring tones.
  • sound recording
  • films
  • broadcasts
  • typographical arrangements
  • data bases

The owner of copyright is initially the author (e.g. for literary works) or creator (e.g. for artistic works). In the event the author/creator is an employee the right for exploitation of the work may have been assigned by law to the employer.

The owner of the copyrighted work enjoys so-called moral rights and so-called economic rights.

Moral rights

Moral rights related to the  protecting of the personality and reputation of authors and creators. 

  • The right to be identified as author/director (‘the right of paternity or attribution’)
  • The right to object to derogatory treatment of a work (‘the right of integrity’)
  • The right to object to false attribution

Moral rights may be waived but they cannot be assigned.

Economic Rights

Economic rights are the rights that enable the author to ask for monetary compensation if tthehird parties want to use his works. Depending on the nature of the work the economic rights may comprise:

  • the right of first issue including the right to refrain from issuing
  • the right to copy the work
  • rent or lend the work to the public
  • collect license fees from persons performing, showing or playing it in public
  • make any adaptations

The owner of the copyright may choose to assign or license specific or all of these rights to third parties. A license may be exclusive, i.e. the copyright owners grants the rights in question only to a single party. In case he reserves the right to give a license to more than one party, this is called a non-exclusive license.

Due to international agreeents, the maximum period of protection by copyrights is limited to 70 years after the authors death.