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Copyright is the branch of law in the Anglo-Saxon system which protects literary, scientific and artistic works. In the continental system, they are known as Author's rights, or in the French terminology, Droit d'Auteur (save the different scope between Copyright and Author's rights).

Protection is envisaged for the following creations.

  • Books, brochures and forms. 

  • Computer programs. (It may be possible to protect some computer-implemented inventions as patents).

  • Musical compositions.

  • Plays (drama) and musicals.

  • Films and any other audiovisual works.

  • Sculptures, paintings, drawings, short stories and comics.

  • Plans and projects for engineering or architectural works.

  • Photographic works.

Copyright protection is acquired by the mere fact that the creation of the work has taken place. However, it is convenient, for the sake of evidence, to record the work for which protection is sought in the Spanish Register for Intellectual Property.

In cases of foreigners belonging to countries that have ratified the Bern Convention, Spanish Law grants them the same rights that they can be afforded according to the copyright law of their respective countries.

In those cases, it is always useful to be able to obtain a certification from a local authority providing evidence of the copyright protection.

This protection is for the author's lifetime plus 70 years after his death, except in the case of computer programs, where the term of protection is 50 years from January 1st of the year following their publication or, if they have not been published, from January 1st of the year following their creation.


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