Copyright and related rights
Copyright works are individual intellectual creations in the fields of literature, science and the arts, which can be expressed in any mode. The term related rights is used for those rights which are related to copyright.
Definition of copyright and related rights
Copyright belongs to the author by virtue of the creation of the work. This means that no formalities such as registration are needed for a work to enjoy copyright protection. (Example: When a writer writes a novel, the work is already protected and the author has a copyright on it.)
The essence of copyright is that it constitutes a monopoly of the author over the exploitation of their work. As such, copyright guarantees the author:
- respect for their moral interests and
- respect for the economic benefits of the exploitation of their work.
In the first case, we are talking about moral rights, which protect the author with respect to their intellectual and personal ties to the work. Under moral rights, the author enjoys the exclusive right of first disclosure, recognition of authorship, respect for the work and the right of withdrawal.
In the second case, we are talking about economic rights, which protect the author’s economic interests by giving the author an exclusive right to authorise or prohibit the exploitation of their work.
Copyright work can be exploited:
- in material form (reproduction, distribution, rental);
- in non-material form (public performance, public transmission, public communication by phonograms and videograms, public presentation, broadcasting, rebroadcasting, secondary broadcasting); and
- in modified form (transformation, audiovisual adaptation).
All three basic forms of exploitation are adequately covered by the author’s individual exclusive rights.
In addition to absolute (exclusive) rights, the author also enjoys other rights. These rights are the right of access and of delivery, the resale right, the public lending right, and the right to remuneration for sound or visual recording and photocopying of their work.
The copyright runs for the life of the author and for 70 years after their death.
For the purpose of preserving evidence or for other reasons, the holder of rights may register or deposit the original or copies of their work in the register of protected works. The Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (the Office) has entrusted the Copyright Agency of Slovenia with the task of maintaining the register. It should be stressed once again that such registration has no effect on the establishing or protection of rights.
The term related rights is used for rights which are related to copyright. The holders of related rights are performers, producers of phonograms, film producers, broadcasting organisations, publishers and makers of databases.
Author and copyright work
Under the Slovenian legislation, an author is a natural person (not a legal person) who has created a copyright work. What work can be considered copyright work is one of the fundamental questions of copyright law and must be answered on a case-by-case basis.
A person whose name, pseudonym or artist’s mark appears in the customary manner on the work itself, or is so indicated at the time of disclosure of the work, is deemed to be the author of the work until proved otherwise.
If the work is created from the collaboration of two or more persons, it is considered a co-authored work. If such a work constitutes an inseparable whole, all the co-authors of the work have joint copyright in it.
Copyright works are individual intellectual creations in the fields of literature, science and the arts, which are expressed in any mode. This is the general definition contained in the Copyright and Related Rights Act.
There are five basic conditions that must be met for a work to qualify as a copyright work:
- Individuality is the most important characteristic of a copyright work, but it does not imply absolute originality or novelty as in the case of patent protection (for example, two photographers can photograph the same motif from the same place with the same camera and film).
- Intellectualism means, on the one hand, that the work reflects the human spirit, the author’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc., and, on the other, that the copyright work is an immaterial good.
- A copyright work as a creation can only be the result of human action, not the action of a machine or an animal. It is also important that it is an act in which a certain amount of creative effort has been invested.
- The fields of literature, science and the arts should be interpreted very broadly.
- Expression means the manifestation of the work in the external world in such a way that it can be perceived by human senses. However, the work does not have to be fixed in a material medium (for example spoken works, choreographic and pantomime works).
Types of copyright works, for example, are the following:
- spoken works such as speeches, sermons and lectures;
- written works such as belletristic works, articles, manuals, studies and computer programs;
- musical works with or without words;
- theatrical or theatrical and musical works and puppetry works;
- choreographic works and works of pantomime;
- photographic works and works produced by a process similar to photography;
- audiovisual works;
- works of fine art such as paintings, graphic works and sculptures;
- works of architecture such as sketches, plans, and built structures in the fields of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture;
- works of applied art and industrial design;
- cartographic works;
- presentations of a scientific, educational or technical nature (technical drawings, plans, sketches, tables, expert opinions, three-dimensional representations and other works of a similar nature).
This is an open list of more or less typical examples of copyright works, all of which must meet the conditions listed above. It is also important to remember that the quality or artistic value of a work is irrelevant when assessing whether it is a copyright work or not.
Copyright protection is not afforded to:
- ideas, principles or discoveries;
- official legislative, administrative or judicial texts;
- folk literary and artistic creations.
Collective management of rights is a feature of copyright law that enables authors and other right-holders to manage their rights more easily and efficiently in conditions of mass and widespread use of their work and allows users easy access to the lawful use of many works.
Collective management of copyright can be carried out by collecting societies (usually national associations of authors of a particular type of work or other holders of rights) and by independent management entities authorised by the Office.
The collecting society manages the copyright on the basis of a contract concluded with the author. In cases of mandatory collective management of copyright, the collecting society is empowered by the law itself, and therefore a contract between it and the author is not necessary.
The members of the collecting society are responsible for overseeing the activities of the collecting society, and the state, through the Office, also has certain powers to ensure that the collecting society complies with the Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights Act.