Authors and copyright protection

How do I obtain copyright protection for my work?
Copyright is established automatically as the work is being created. Unlike patent right, copyright does not need to be applied for, there is no need for filling out forms or for registering anything.

Is display of the copyright notice (©) obligatory for copyright protection of my work?
No, display of the copyright notice (©) is not obligatory.

Must I register or deposit my work anywhere in order to obtain copyright protection?
No, there is no need for registration or deposit of your work for copyright protection. No such depot exists.

Is my work copyright-protected once an ISBN has been issued?
An ISBN is a unique international ordering code used in the book trade. Mentioning an ISBN in a book has no connection to a book's copyright protection.

Who holds copyright to a work created within the frame of an employment contract?
If a work has been created within the frame of an employment contract, and an employee has been hired to create a work or has been assigned to create a work, the employer is considered to be the maker and therefore the holder of copyright.

Who holds copyright to an academic/scientific publication?
Jurisprudence exists stating that when an academic publication is created at a university within the frame of an employment contract (dissertation, scientific  article), copyright belongs to the author and not to the employer (university).

Who holds copyright to works made for academic training?
If educational material is created at a university within the frame of an employment contract, copyright belongs to the employer (university).

I am a free-lance author and am hired to create a certain work. I receive adequate pay. I suppose in that case copyright belongs to the client?
No, not the client but the author holds copyright. The client must have the author's permission for publishing and multiplying the work.

Who holds copyright to a work made under direction and supervision of someone else?
If a work is based on a design by another person, and is made under direction and supervision of that other person, that other person holds copyright.

Who holds copyright to a Master's thesis?

Jurisprudence exists stating that copyright to a Master's thesis belongs to the graduate. Not therefore to the institution where he or she graduates or to his or her supervisor, or, if no other arrangement has been made, to the firm where the graduate has performed his or her research. If theses are to be based on research performed by the graduate at a firm or office, it is essential to agree beforehand who will be the holder of copyright.

Who holds copyright to an article created by a team?

If separate contributions may be clearly distinguished, each author holds copyright to his or her contribution. If no such distinction can be made, the authors hold joint copyright to the whole work.


Latest update: 1 January 2009