We protect your work!
What can be protected under copyright?
Copyright protects a wide range of intellectual works and creative expressions. The following works may be protected by copyright:
- literary works such as novels, poems, essays, articles, and computer programs
- artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, graphics and other pictorial representations
- musical works such as musical compositions, song lyrics, song texts and melodies
- cinematographic works such as films, videos and audiovisual productions
- dramatic works such as plays, screenplays and other dramatic writings
- architectural works such as building plans, architectural designs, and buildings
- computer programs such as software and its source code
- dance choreographies such as choreographies of dances
- databases such as the structure and organization of a database
- audio works such as recordings of spoken word, audio books, and podcasts
- web pages and graphic design such as the design of web pages, graphics, and visual elements on websites
- illustrations and comics such as drawings, illustrations, and comics
Once a work has been created and fixed in a tangible form, your work is copyright protected. Registration is therefore not required; however, registering your work may be beneficial in some countries (e.g., USA).
The copyright owner can decide on the use, reproduction, and distribution of his work and has for example the right to license it out or claim damages in case of infringement. You have created a work in the field of art or literature, which has an individual character i.e., it stands out because of its uniqueness and individuality?
We advise you on how to make the most of your copyright.
Copyright is per se not transferrable; it protects the authorial personality, the personal relationship to his work. Copyright includes the right of integrity (i.e. the integrity of the work) and the right to recognition of authorship. Copyright also grants the author an exclusive right to exploit his work, e.g. by reproducing, distributing, performing and presenting, adapting and making it available to the public. The author can grant third parties the right to use and exploit the work in exchange for royalties and determine whether these rights can be transferred.
Act on Copyright and Related Rights – Urheberrechtsgesetz (UrhG)
To protect and exploit your work in your interest, it is necessary to stay up to date with copyright case law and to know well the Act on Copyright and Related Rights (Urheberrechtsgesetz (UrhG)).
Copyright protection starts when …
Unlike trademarks or patents, you have copyright in your work once your work has been created and fixed in a tangible form. “Applying for a copyright” or registering it with an IP office or any other authority is therefore not required. However, we recommend publishing your work, e.g. in trade journals, the author’s roll (Urheberrolle) at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) or, if necessary, depositing it with a notary. This proves when your copyright arose.
Proof of the Time of Copyright Origination
To be able to demonstrate the exact time the copyright was established, should the need arise, we recommend publishing your work (e.g., in professional journals, the copyright register at the German Patent and Trademark Office, in front of witnesses, or possibly depositing it with a notary).
Term of protection
Copyright grants exclusive rights for up to 70 years after the author’s death.
Protection against copyright infringement
Protecting your work from unauthorized uses, such as copying your photograph on the Internet plays a crucial role in the digital age. We represent your interests where your copyright has been infringed.
- Individual and tailored advice on copyright law
- Drafting and negotiating license agreements
- Drafting warning letters to enforce copyright claims
- Enforcing copyright claims before the courts
- Enforcing license agreements
Copyright grants authors an exclusive right to exploit their work, e.g. by publishing, reproducing or adapting the work. It is closely linked to the author and therefore not transferable. However, the author you can grant third parties the right to use and exploit the work in exchange for royalties and determine whether these rights can be further transferred.
Linguistic works such as written works (e.g. novels), speeches and computer programs; photographic works (photographs); cinematographic works; musical works; works of visual and applied art; representations of a scientific and technical nature (e.g. drawings).
Copyright law protects creations of the mind in the area of art and literature, which are unique and have an individual character. Mere ideas, concepts, instructions, etc. cannot not be protected. For example, the idea of making a documentary about life on a remote and deserted island cannot be protected.
Unlike trademarks or patents, you have copyright in your work once your work has been created and fixed in a tangible form. “Applying for a copyright” or registering it with an IP office or any other authority is therefore not required. However, we recommend publishing your work, e.g., in trade journals, the author’s roll (Urheberrolle) at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) or, if necessary, depositing it with a notary. This proves when your copyright arose.
Protecting your work from unauthorized use – such as copying your photograph on the Internet – plays a crucial role in the digital age. You have several options once your copyright has been infringed including a warning letter as a first step.
Copyright law protects photographs taken by individuals as well as by professional photographers – without requiring an individual character of the photograph. Using your photograph on the Internet this requires your approval.
The author of a work has the right to be credited as the author, i.e. your name must be mentioned when publishing your photo. You have various options in case you haven’t been credited. We are specialized in IP and are happy to advise you on all copyright questions.
We would be happy to advise you on your questions about copyright.