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Registration and protection of copyright

General legal issues of copyright and neighbouring right are very voluminous and multifaceted, that’s it is not possible to describe them in this subsection. It is not also judicious, because you can become familiar with these issues in detail in articles 433-448 of the Civil Code of Ukraine as well as in the Law of Ukraine "On copyrights and neighbouring rights".

We have analysed which questions you are interested in the most in the process of registration of copyright, i.e. in practice. So this subsection is devoted to answers of these questions.

The most frequently people turn to us for registration of copyright in computer programs, content on a web-site, music (with or without text), literary works, photographs, drawings (design), clothes design etc. There are some specifics of registration of copyright in works created in connection with implementation of employment agreement (office work).

If you can not find the answer to your question, please contact us in convenient way and the specialists of our Agency will advise you on it.

We are happy to provide you with services on other related issues:

  • individual working-out of license, sub-license agreements and maintenance procedures for their conclusion;
  • working-out of agreements about assignment of property copyrights;
  • state registration of agreements about assignment of property copyrights: preparation of necessary documents, maintenance procedure.

Basic provisions

What is the difference between copyright and neighbouring right?
Copyright is a combination of non-property and property rights for the work.
Neighbouring right is a combination of non-property and property rights for performance, audio record, video record, programme (transferring) of broadcasting organizations.

Is registration of copyright necessary?

According to international regulations and standards of the legislation of Ukraine, copyright originates from the moment of creation of the work. The origin and disposal of copyright do not require registering the work or its legalization as well as the compliance with any other formalities.
Our Agency’s advice: however, we insistently recommend registering copyrights.
Successful, promising and profitable projects (as a rule, based on the certain works) have always attracted unfair competitors and those people, who wish to earn using somebody else's reputation. Sometimes even the most insignificant question can be their hitch. In particular, we are talking about copyrights unregistered in proper way.
Despite the fact that copyrights are not subject to compulsory state registration, practice, particularly the judiciary, argues the opposite: the state registration of copyright must exist!
In case of any infringer of copyright or other disputes, the official Certificate of state registration of copyright is often the main and almost the only weighty proof of ownership of copyright by a particular person. Registration also indicates the date of work creation, thus proving the LEAD in the work creation.
The State Department issues certificates of state registration of copyright for more than 400 works every month. There are 5000 certificates a year! Let’s draw conclusions!

So, what are the BENEFITS of state registration of copyright?

  • As a result of state registration of copyright you receive an official document that is Certificate of state registration of copyright in the work;
  • copyrights are the intellectual PROPERTY, which can be: inherited, transferred by entering into agreements about assignment of property copyrights and licensing agreements. The official registration and receiving the official Certificate support and confirm documentary the existence of copyrights and simplify the transferring procedure/entering into a license agreement (if necessary);
  • in case of litigation, the state registration significantly increase your chances to win a case.

The advantages of the state registration of copyright are:

  • relatively low charges for registration procedure of copyrights;
  • sufficiently reasonable period of registration, which lasts for 2-3 months;
  • registration of copyrights is not necessary to renew and to pay the state charges for the maintenance of their validity.

PERIOD OF THE PROCEDURE of registration of copyright

On the average, the registration procedure of copyrights lasts for about 2 or 3 months.

Applicants for registration of copyright can be:

  • an individual who is an author of a work (or few individuals and co-authors of a work);
  • individual or legal entity (if a work is created by an author in connection with employment agreement).

Is there examination of works applied during the registration procedure

There is no expertise of works applied during registration and applications are checked only on formal grounds.

Types of works

1. Literary and art works:

  • written works: novels, poems, articles etc.;
  • oral works: lectures, speeches, sermons etc.;
  • dramatic works, musical and dramatic works, pantomimes, choreographic and other stage works;
  • music (with or without text);
  • audio-visual works;
  • works of painting, architecture, sculpture and graphics;
  • photographic works;
  • works of applied art;
  • illustrations, maps, plans, drafts and plastic works, which relate to geography, topography, architecture or science;
  • translations, adaptations, arrangements and other creative processing of literary and art works;
  • collections of works, if they are a result of intellectual activity on the compilation and ordering of their components.

2. Computer programmes. They are protected as literary works. Such protection is applied to computer programmes, regardless of mode or form of their expression.

3. Compilations of data (databases), if they are a result of intellectual activity on the compilation and ordering of their components. Protection for compilations of data (databases) is not applied to information or material, which are the components of the compilation.

The works DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • ideas, theories, principles, methods, procedures, processes, systems, methods, concepts, discoveries, even if they are expressed, described, explained or illustrated in the work;
  • acts of public authorities and local self-government authorities (laws, decrees, resolutions, decisions etc.) as well as their official translations;
  • State symbols of Ukraine, banknotes, emblems etc., approved by public authorities;
  • daily news reports or other facts that have regular press information;
  • works of folk art (folklore); - transport schedules, television and radio schedules, white pages and other similar databases that do not meet criteria of originality.

Specifics OF REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT IN COMPUTER PROGRAMME

To register the copyright in a computer programme you need to provide us with:

  • the source codes of the computer programme in a sufficient amount for its identification;
  • user guide for the computer programme.

REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT IN THE CONTENT ON WEB-SITE.

For readability of content protection of a website, the web-site should be divided into two parts: the web-site design and its textual (graphic, photographic etc.) content. Thus, the web-site will represent a combination of at least two objects of copyright: works of art (web-site design) and literary work (web-site content). Each of these copyrights will have the same legal protection. There also can be marked out a case where in the site a computer programme operates, such as content management system, the counter visitors to a web-site etc., which are also a subject to a copyright and to legal protection.

COPYRIGHTS DISPOSAL ON OFFICE WORK.

Copyrights disposal on office work (it would be correct to use a term “a work created in connection with the employment agreement”) has its own peculiarities:

  • property rights to such work in most cases belong to the employee created the work;
  • property rights to such work belong JOINTLY to the employee created the work and the legal entity, where the employee works, or individual, the employee works for, unless otherwise is specified in the agreement.