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  • 1.1 How and to Whom is Copyright Created?
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Copyright is created to the author of the work. Copyright is created immediately and simultaneously with the creation of the work. As noted above, also drafts and other preparatory stages of a work may enjoy copyright protection. Authors of artistic labour and works include the director, dramaturge, set designer, costume designer, composer, sound designer, choreographer, lyricist and arranger. They have a copyright to the independent and original works they have created.

Copyright can only be born to a natural person, i.e. a human being, never to a juristic or legal person such as a company or association. The author may however assign by agreement all or part of their rights, with the exception of their right to attribution, to a legal person such as a production company, their employer or a theatre.  A legal person may therefore only be the holder of transferred copyrights.

Related rights of a performing artist

Related rights, i.e. rights close or similar to copyrights, protect performing artists and their performances. Performing artists include, for example, actors, dancers, musicians, sound designers, audio book readers, DJs and singers. The same person may be having copyrights and related rights. The Copyright Act does not impose any professional or qualitative criteria for the performer. Related rights protect an artistic achievement, in the case of a performing artist, the artist's performance. However, there is no corresponding requirement for the performance to meet a prerequisite level of originality and independence. A prerequisite for the creation of a related right is that the object of the performance is either a literary or other artistic work or a performance of folklore, i.e. the work being performed  is  required to meet the level of originality in order for the performance  to enjoy  a related right protection. If this condition is not met, the performer cannot be granted related right protection for their performance. 

Related rights also protect producers of phonograms and visual recordings, manufacturers of lists, radio and television production companies and photographers.The concept 'author' may be used very loosely in everyday language, so that it includes performing artists in addition to the actual authors, that is persons receiving a copyright as a result of their creative and independent labour. In the context of copyright, however, these concepts must always be kept intact, separating copyright from the performing artist's related right.

A theater director can have a related rights, or a copyright, depending on the nature of his contribution.


One will also hear right holders mentioned in connection with copyright. A right holder is the person who owns the rights to a work, or who manages another right, such as the right of use, right to perform or distribute. The right holder may be the author or a person, to whom the author has transferred all or part of their copyrights. The right holder may be a natural person, or they may be a juristic, i.e. legal, person such as a company. Thus, the right holder can be an author, theatre, producer, publisher, theatrical agency etc.

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