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    What is copyright and what are related rights?

    Paintings, photos, drawings, literature, film, music, but as well as websites, furniture designs, textbooks, choreography, and software are all works that can be protected by copyright. In effect, copyright protects the creators of original works. Related rights are similar to copyright in the prerogatives they confer. Their purpose is to protect the artistic or financial contribution that is invested in the literary and artistic creation. As for databases, they can be protected both by copyright (for the original structure) and by a related right (called “sui generis right of the producer of the database”). That is why they are discussed in a separate section on this website.

    Protection by copyright and related rights implies that numerous uses of a work are not allowed without the permission of its author or the holder of the related rights (or their beneficiaries). However, the law exempts users from requesting the rights holders’ permission to reproduce or communicate to the public protected works with the public in certain specific cases. These are referred to as exceptions or limitations to copyright.

    The purpose of making the use of the work subject to the willingness of its author or holder of a related right is therefore to enable him or her to earn income from the exploitation of their work if they so wish, but also to allow the dissemination of the creation to the public, by involving the creators.

    Works protected by copyright and related rights are also economic values that a company can exploit in a market (e.g. records, books, databases, software, etc.).

    Artist + idée = Copyright owner

    How can you obtain a copyright or a related right?

    One thing that copyright and related rights have in common is the fact that they do not require any formalities: copyright protection comes into effect automatically by the mere creation of an original work, and the protection by related rights comes into effect automatically by the execution or production of performance.

    However, it may be useful to complete certain formalities that will provide the author with proof of the date when they created their work and of the fact that they are the author. These formalities can include the registration or filing of the work.

    Last update
    22 February 2024