1. Original

Copyright is a comprehensive right: every original piece of work can be copyright protected. Whether it’s a website design, the appearance of a shoe, the text in a brochure or a new building: these can all be protected by copyright.

2. Automatic coverage and at no cost

There is nothing you need to do to obtain copyright except to create an original work. Copyright arises automatically the minute you make an original work, so there are no registrations and costs.

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3. Copyright = ©

To indicate that a work is subject to copyright, a © is often added. This is not mandatory, but by adding the © you indicate that this is a protected work that nobody can use without permission.

4. Duration

Copyrights have an extremely long life: up to 70 years after the creator’s death. As an example: Andy Warhol died on February 22nd, 1987. His heirs still benefit from the income generated by his works until 2057. As is the case for Warhol,  is also the case for small work: every copyrighted work is protected up to 70 years after the creator’s death.

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5. Ideas are free

A work is copyright-protected as long as it is created and fixed in a tangible form. An underlying idea is not protected by copyright. Ideas are free. Here’s an example: Hello Fresh is probably unhappy about Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn’s Allerhande box. However, the concept of ​​a meal box with ingredients and recipes is not copyrighted. The concrete implementation of the box and the advertising around the product is. But in this case, they differ, so there is no copyright infringement.

6. Copyright attributed to the employer

If a company employs you and you create something while performing your job, then the copyrights are attributed to the company and not to you.

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7. Photos

If you see a good image online, you can’t just use it unsolicited. The fact that someone else puts it on the internet does not mean it is rights-free. Even the simplest-looking photos are often subject to copyright, meaning that you need permission from the maker for use.

8. Paying for work doesn’t give you copyright

You can acquire ownership of a copyrighted work, but that doesn’t give you the copyright yet. Anyone who buys an original drawing can simply hang it at home. However, making copies of it and selling it online is not allowed. Only the copyright holder, usually the maker of the work, is allowed to do so or give permission for this.

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9. Transferring copyright

Like any other property, you can also transfer copyright rights. You must always do this via a written agreement. Chiever can help you prepare the correct documents.

10. Overlap with trademark law

Trademark law and copyright overlap in some aspects. For example, in the protection of logos. These are often protected by copyright and registered and protected as trademarks.

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Copyright

Do you have a question about copyright?

Do you want to transfer your rights? Do you believe that someone is infringing your rights? Or are you being sued by someone else for copyright infringement? Chiever can advise you.

Miriam den Boogert European Trademark Attorney +31 (0)20 8204018

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