Related rights, i.e. rights similar to copyright, are a form of protection similar to copyright. Related rights are defined in Chapter 5 of the Copyright Act. The object of related rights' protection is the performance of a work, recording of sound or image, photograph, radio and television broadcasts, databases and lists. The artistic achievements of performing artists like actors, dancers and musicians are protected as related rights. Also, a producer of visual or audio recordings for films and video programs etc. have their own related rights in accordance with the Copyright Act. In some cases it may be debatable, whether a person involved in the performance can be regarded a performer or an author, as intended by Chapter 1 of the Copyright Act; this may be the case, for example, for a performance artist, stand up comedian and sound designer. For example, performance art is treated similarly to dance, as it has a choreographic as well as a performative element, therefore the choreographic element is protected as a work by copyright, and the element protecting the performance is covered by related rights.
The birth of a related right for a performing artist requires that then input of the person participating in the performance is detectable in a sensory manner, in the final performance. Only the performances, or parts thereof, that meet the prerequisite level of originality can be protected. A relative right in accordance with the Copyright Act is created at the moment that the performance is performed or recorded. The right holders of the related rights are the original performer of the performance, the producer and/or those, to whom a related right has been transferred by agreement, inheritance, will or marital right. The same work may involve one or more than one person's copyrights and related rights at the same time.
A related right is not an actual exclusive right, but the purpose of the right is rather to be compensated for the public duplication and recording of a performance. A related right does not prevent other actors from performing the exact same play text. The right holder of the play text will decide on its performing rights. The Copyright Act does not impose any professional or qualitative criteria for the performer. The performance of an amateur and student are protected in the same way as a professional's.
The duration of a related right is 50 years from the end of the year the performance took place, 70 years for music. The period of protection always ends on December 31st. If a recording of the performance is published, or announced to the public, before 50 years has elapsed, the protection is valid until 50 years have elapsed since the publication/announcement. The duration of protection for a producer of an audio or video recording, is 50 years from the year of the recording.