Copyright is created automatically, in accordance with the Act, as soon as the work is created. The birth of the protection is the moment of the film's exposure, or for a digital camera, the moment of a sensor's exposure being recorded onto a file. The period of protection for a photograph is shorter than that of a photographic work. The period of protection for a photographic work is 70 years from the end of the year the author died and the period for a photograph is 50 years from the end of the year the photograph was taken. The period of protection for a joint work is calculated from the year of the death of the last surviving author.

In its opinion TN 2003:6, The Copyright Council found that the photographer NN had, as the only photographer, taken a decent picture of Paavo Nurmi while lighting the Olympic flame. According to the Council's view, this picture was, although valuable in terms of sports and cultural history, only an ordinary photograph, which would receive related rights as a photograph. As the period of protection for the photograph in question had expired, it could be used in an advertisement for the cartoon magazine Aku Ankka (Donald Duck).

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