Rights to a work

Copyright consists of the prerogatives that the law recognises for creators of literary and artistic works.  This copyright allows authors to control the exploitation of their creation and to protect its integrity.

The objective of copyright is to encourage creativity, by guaranteeing the people involved in it the possibility of making this economic activity viable, or even profitable, and to enable the dissemination of creativity to the public by involving creators.

Rights on the support of the work

Copyright refers to an intangible literary or artistic work that must be distinguished from its tangible medium (a CD, book, USB key, etc.). The purchaser of a material object that incorporates a work does not necessarily have copyright in that work and cannot use it in a way that would infringe those rights.


  • I buy a CD by Hooverphonic. The work consists of the songs recorded on this CD. The medium of the work is the CD.
    My ownership right on the CD does not authorise me to make any use of the work that is subject to copyright, such as, making copies of it or broadcasting the song on the Internet.
  • The owner of a Magritte painting does not have any copyright to the work. He could therefore not decide to take pictures of it and distribute them, even he owns the painting. Because on this occasion, he would make copies of the work, an act subject to copyright.
Last update
22 March 2022