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  • Intellectual property framework

    Overview

    Protection of intellectual property rights is required by the Federal Constitution and by several multilateral treaties. The main statutes in this area are federal statutes. However, in case of litigation, some matters are subject to federal jurisdiction, and others to provincial jurisdiction.

  • Commercial contract framework

    Overview

    Commercial contracts are governed by the Civil and Commercial Code. This code came into effect in 2015 and it replaces the previous separate Civil Code and Commercial Code. It is part of the federal legislation, but jurisdiction regarding its implementation and litigation resulting thereunder corresponds primarily to the provincial courts.

    The Civil and Commercial Code includes general provisions on contracts, which are applicable to all contractual transactions. These provisions govern matters such as the formation of contracts, offer and acceptance, possible subject matter of contracts, legal formalities, the legal effects of contracts, contract termination and others.

    In addition, the Civil and Commercial Code includes provisions applicable to specific types of contracts, such as sale agreements, leases, franchise agreements and agency agreements. More than 30 types of agreements are subject to specific provisions of this kind. These specially regulated agreements are thus subject to the general rules applicable to contracts –described above – and to the special rules applicable to the relevant type of agreement. Agreements that are not subject to special rules are nevertheless valid, and they are governed primarily by the general contract rules and – to the degree possible – by the rules applicable to analogous specially regulated contracts.

    Other laws include provisions on specific types of commercial contracts. For instance, the Copyright Law includes certain provisions of contracts related to software and to publishing; the Patent Law includes rules on license agreements; and the Insurance Law includes rules on insurance contracts. However, in all these specially regulated contracts, the general contract law rules included in the Civil and Commercial Code are also applicable.

    Commercial contracts with the federal or provincial governments or with other governmental entities are also governed by administrative law. Special rules on contracts with state entities have been included in federal or provincial laws, or have been developed by case law.

  • Copyrights

    Nature of right

    Copyright protects intellectual creations in all fields of science, art and literature. Article 1 of the Copyright Law includes a non-exhaustive list of possible intellectual works protected by copyright. These include, among others, literary and artistic works, music, architectural works and software.

    Copyright protects intellectual expressions, but not ideas. For example, the contents of a book in terms of sentences and other literary expressions are protected by copyright, but the creative idea underlying the book as a whole is not.

    Copyright results from the creation of an intellectual work. Registration is not necessary for copyright to exist, although it is necessary for the exercise of some rights by local authors. Upon creation of a protected work, copyright belongs to the original author or authors, who then may transfer their right, by contract or by the operation of certain legal rules.

    Copyright includes economic and moral rights. Economic rights consist, basically, in the exclusive right to use and exploit the protected work. The Copyright Law lists some of the elements of this exclusive right, such as the right to reproduce the relevant work, to market copies, to prepare derivative works or to have the work performed publicly.

    Moral rights include the so call "integrity right" – that is, the right to preserve the text, title and other contents of the work, even if property rights on such work have been assigned; the "paternity right," the author’s right to be named and identified as such together with the work; the "publication right," the right to decide whether the right will be published; and the "alteration right," the right to modify the work, even after it has been published. Moral rights belong to the author and they are generally non-assignable.

    Legal framework

    Copyright law is included in Law 11, 723, as amended. In addition, multiple laws and regulations govern matters such as related rights, publishers' rights and collective management societies.

    Argentina is part of the main multilateral international copyright agreements, such as the Trips Agreement, the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention. The provisions of these agreements are actively enforced by the courts.

    Duration of right

    The general rule is that copyright protection lasts for a term of seventy years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author, as well as through the life of the author.

    In the case of work done through cooperation, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the last person who participated in the joint authorship of the work involved.

    In the case of posthumous works, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the author.

    The duration of protection of anonymous works whose copyright belongs to institutions, corporations or legal entities is 50 years from the date of publication of the work.

    Special rules on copyright duration apply to specific types of copyrightable works, such as photographs and cinematographic works.

    Ownership / licenses

    The basic rule is that ownership belongs to the author. Special rules have been developed in connection with special types of works, such as cinematographic works, derivative works and software.

    There are several types of joint ownership. It may apply to works done through cooperation, which imply a creative collaboration between different authors; to collective works, which are those created through the initiative or direction of one or more individuals, who coordinate or direct the efforts of several other individuals to achieve a joint result; and to composite works, which are the result of adding different separate works, each with a possible separate author and owner, into one final result.

    Works created by employees who have been hired for that purpose belong to the employer.

    Copyright may be subject to licenses, generally as part of broader contractual arrangements such as publishing agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Damages may be claimed before civil courts for all types of copyright violation. Registration of works is not necessary, except for local authors, whose rights may be suspended until registration takes place.

    It is also possible to file civil action to prevent further copyright violation, and to obtain preliminary remedies, such as injunction, in the course of civil procedures.

    Criminal remedies, particularly fines, are possible, but are not frequently applied.

  • Mask works / topographies

    Nature of right

    Mask works and topographies are not separately protected under Argentine law. They may be protected under patent law or by way of confidentiality.

    Legal framework

    Argentina has enacted no specific rules on chip protection. Although Argentina is part of the WTO and has approved the Trips Agreement, it has not yet implemented any rules on chip protection.

    The provisions on chip protection included in the Trips Agreement have not been deemed immediately applicable under Argentine law. In addition, Argentina has not ratified or implemented other multilateral treaties on chip protection, in particular the Treaty of Washington of 1989.

    Semiconductor technology, generally, and topographies, in particular, may be protected under the traditional intellectual property rules applicable to all types of technology, specially patent law and the rules on confidential information. Therefore, matters such as the duration of the relevant rights, ownership and remedies depend on the type of protection used in connection with each specific mask work or topography.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

     Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

  • Patents

    Nature of right

    Patents are a statutory right. The granting of patents is required by the Argentine Constitution and by different international documents, particularly the Trips Agreement. Patent rights imply an exclusive right to exploit a process or a product. The Argentine Patent Law defines the limits of these exclusive rights, on the basis of the provisions of the Trips Agreement.

    Legal framework

    Patents are governed by the Patent Law – Law 24,481, as amended. In addition, they are governed by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention. Argentina is not a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

    Duration of right

    The basic rule is that patents expire 20 years after the date in which the relevant patent application was filed. Argentina uses a "first to file" system, but it also applies the priority rules derived from the Paris Convention.

    Argentine law provides special rules on compulsory licenses and on patent termination due to lack of exploitation of the patented invention. Compulsory licenses may be granted in case of non-exploitation, competition law violations or sanitary emergencies, among other cases. Patent termination may result when, after a compulsory license was granted for lack of exploitation, no exploitation of the invention takes place for two years after the license was granted.

    Ownership / licenses

    Joint ownership is permissible. The Patent Law includes provisions on the exercise of patent rights by the joint owners. In addition the Civil and Commercial Code rules on joint property apply to patents.

    The Patent law includes rules on licenses. Licenses are not exclusive, unless the parties provide otherwise. Competition law rules are applicable to restrictive clauses included in license agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Patent law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the infringing activities.

    A complex system of rules for preliminary remedies in patent cases is included in the Patent law. Generally, suspension of an alleged infringer's exploitation requires a preliminary procedure, with the participation of expert witnesses.

    Criminal procedures and sanctions are rare.

  • Trademarks

    Nature of right

    A trademark may consist of one or more words, with or without conceptual content, drawings, commercial symbols, monograms, engravings, prints, seals, images, stripes, color combinations, letter and number combinations, the special graphics of letters and numbers, advertisement phrases, reliefs, and any other sign with distinctive capacity.

    A trademark is normally protected by means of its registration. However, de facto trademarks, that is those that are used but not registered, are also protected in a more limited way.

    Legal framework

    Trademarks are governed by the Trademark Law – Law 22,362, as amended.

    In addition, trademarks are protected by the rules included in Trips Agreement and in the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Registered trademarks are protected for a period of ten years, from the moment of registration. Trademark registration may be renewed indefinitely.

    Registration may be cancelled for lack of use during a period of five years. In addition, renewal of registration requires proof of the trademark's prior use.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership is acquired by means of registration. However, use of unregistered trademarks may result in certain rights for the user.

    Trademarks may be subject to joint ownership. The Trademark Law and the Civil and Commercial Code provide the rules applicable to these joint ownership relationships.

    Trademark licenses are possible. They are valid even if they are not registered with the trademark office.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Trademark Law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and the termination of the infringing activities.

    Special preliminary remedies are applicable in cases of trademark infringement. The trademark owner may obtain an injunction against the infringer, when the trademark is registered and its violation is immediately evident.

    Criminal law remedies are rarely used in practice.

  • Trade secrets

    Nature of right

    Argentine law provides protection for trade secrets and confidential information. A complex set of rules creates rights against conduct whereby access is gained illegally to confidential information, or which implies illegal use of trade secrets or confidential information or which results in the unauthorized and harmful disclosure of confidential or secret information.

    Confidential information is characterized by the fact that it is kept in a reserved manner and that it is not generally available for technicians working in the relevant technical field. Trade secrets receive a special degree of protection, particularly under criminal law.

    Legal framework

    Confidential information is governed and protected by Law 24,766. It is also protected by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention.

    In addition, multiple rules and statutes protect confidential information and trade secrets. Labor law protects the confidentiality and ownership of information used in employment relationships.

    Several criminal law rules apply to special types of violations of confidentiality. In particular, disclosure of trade secrets and unfair competition by means of the illegal use or appropriation of trade secrets are subject to criminal law penalties.

    Duration of right

    Confidential information and trade secrets is protected for as long as the relevant information is kept confidential. The degree of protection diminishes if the information ceases to be objectively a secret, due to its previous disclosure or because it has been obtained independently by other parties.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership results from the obtention of the information, accompanied by legal or practical measures aimed at restricting access to that information by third parties. No registration requirement is applicable.

    Joint ownership is possible.

    Trade secret or know-how licenses are common and enforceable.

    Remedies for infringement

    Argentine law provides civil and criminal law remedies for cases of trade secret infringement.

    Damages caused by these violations must be compensated. It is also possible to obtain court orders requiring termination of the violation.

    Preliminary remedies include injunctions against further exploitation or disclosure of trade secrets.

    Criminal remedies are applicable in cases of disclosure of trade secrets acquired in the course of employment and other professional relationship, as well as in cases in which the violation of the rights to confidential information or trade secrets results in unfair competition.

  • Other key IP rights

    Nature of right

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by special industrial property rights. An industrial model or design consists in the forms embodied in or the aspect applied to an industrial or artisan product, which confer an ornamental character to such product.

    Exclusive rights on industrial models and designs result from registration of the relevant model or design.

    Industrial designs

    Industrial designs

    Legal framework

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by Decree 6673/1963, as amended. They are also protected in accordance with the Trips Agreement and the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Industrial designs

    The rights derived from the registration of an industrial model or design last for a five-year period, counted from the date of filing of the relevant application. The registration may be renewed for two successive five-year period, if the owner requests such renewal.

    Ownership / licenses

    Industrial designs

    Ownership belongs to the author. There is a rebuttable presumption to the effect that the first applicant of an industrial model or design registration is the author of such industrial model or design. Joint ownership is possible, and is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code and by Decree 6673/1963 as amended.

    Industrial models or designs may be the subject matter of license agreements. No registration is necessary for the validity of these agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Industrial designs

    Civil and criminal law remedies are applicable in case of infringement. Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the violation.

    Preliminary injunctions and remedies are possible in accordance with general procedural rules.

    Criminal sanctions have been recently reinforced, but they are rarely applied.

  • Intellectual property in employment context

    Employees

    Special rules on employee inventions are included in the Patent Law and in the Labor Contract Law.

    There are basically three types of invention, from the perspective of employer-employee relationships. First, inventions made in technological areas for which the employee was hired as a researcher or developer belong to the employer. The employee may be entitled to a special compensation if he or she develops a patented invention which exceeds the normal scope of the employee's work. Second, inventions related to the employee's work or related to the employer's know-how or activities belong to the employee, but allow the employer to exercise an option to acquire rights over the invention. If the option is exercised, the employee is entitled to a payment reflecting the value of the invention. Third, inventions that do not fall into the two previous categories belong to the employee.

    Similar rules are applicable in the case of other types of technology or intellectual property rights. In the case of software, the law applies the “work for hire” doctrine, but allows the parties to agree to different contractual rules.

    Consultants / contractors

    The law is not explicit about the rights of consultants and contractors, who do not qualify as employees, with regard to technology and other intellectual property they develop. Generally, the parties may agree as to the rules which will apply to such rights. In the absence of a contractual framework, the technology or intellectual property generated by a consultant or contractor who was hired with the purpose of developing such items that will belong to the person paying for such work.

  • Key commercial contract considerations

    Registration of commercial agreements

    The general rule is that commercial agreements are not registered, and that their validity and effect is not subject to registration requirements. However, certain types of agreement must be registered to be effective or to have full effects against third parties. Agreements subject to registration include business association agreements, certain publishing agreements, certain chattel mortgages and certain agreements related to real estate. International transfer of technology agreements are subject to registration for tax purposes.

    Recognized language of commercial agreements

    Agreements are generally entered in Spanish. However, it is legally possible to enter agreements written in other languages. These agreements must be translated when presented in court. Spanish language may be necessary in consumer transactions.

    Country-specific issues for online content

    Argentina has ratified the WIPO conventions applicable online content and practices. However, enforcement of these conventions is weak.

    Enforceability of online/clickwrap/shrinkwrap terms

    The general rule is that acceptance of terms included in online, click wrap or shrink wrap elements is valid and effective, provided such acceptance is clearly stated and applies to terms that were known to the person giving the acceptance. However, several rules may limit the effects of agreements entered by these mechanisms, particularly consumer protection rules and rules on adhesion contracts.

    Governing law

    The basic rule is that the parties may agree as to the law that will govern their contractual rights and as to the applicable jurisdiction in case of dispute. This freedom of election is subject to several limitations. Non-Argentine law will not be enforced in Argentine courts if it  is contrary to Argentine public policy. Also, certain matters are necessarily governed by Argentine law. For example, if a business association is created in Argentina, its organization and other corporate aspects will be governed by Argentine law. Decisions made by non-Argentine courts or arbitration tribunals are enforceable in Argentina only after going through a special procedure before the Argentine courts, in the context of which the decision will only be enforced if it complies with certain rules, particularly not violating Argentine public policy. In addition, certain matters – ie, deciding the validity of a patent issued in Argentina – are necessarily subject to Argentine jurisdiction.

  • Key commercial contract terms

    Enforceability of warranty disclaimers

    Argentine law provides certain warranties, generally applicable to all types of contracts implying the transfer of rights. These warranties apply, in particular, to the validity of the rights being transferred and to the fitness of the goods regarding which rights are transferred.

    The general rule is that these warranties may be limited or eliminated by agreement between the parties. However, these disclaimers are totally or partially invalid in several types of cases: if the transferor had prior knowledge of the invalidity of the transferred rights or of the deficiency of the goods involved; if the transferor is a merchant and the parties waiving his or her rights are not; and if the warranty disclaimer is included in a consumer or adhesion contract.

    Enforceability of exclusions/limitations of liability indemnification

    Exclusions or limitations of liability indemnification are valid if they meet the general conditions applicable to contractual. However, they may be unenforceable in the following cases: when they extend to willful violations or defaults, or to violations or defaults resulting from gross negligence; when they are imposed in adhesion or consumer contracts; or when they result in the violation or annulment of rights that may not be removed or limited contractually.

    Indemnification

    The basic rule under Argentine law if full indemnification of economic or moral damages caused by illegal conduct, whether that conduct constitutes a contractual or a tort violation.

    The parties are free to include contractual rules as to the extent of their indemnification obligations.

    Penalty clauses and liquidated damages clauses are acceptable, but they may be limited or amended by the courts if their terms are deemed abusive.

    In the absence of contractual provisions, the indemnification's extent will depend on circumstances such as the willful or negligent nature of the violation, foreseeability of the damages caused and the comparative fault of the parties.

    Electronic signatures

    Electronic signatures are valid and effective under Argentine law. However, certain legal effects require that the signature comply with a special certification regime.

  • Key contacts
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Senior Partner DLA Piper (Argentina) [email protected] T +5411 41145500 View bio

Copyrights

Duration of right

Argentina

The general rule is that copyright protection lasts for a term of seventy years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author, as well as through the life of the author.

In the case of work done through cooperation, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the last person who participated in the joint authorship of the work involved.

In the case of posthumous works, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the author.

The duration of protection of anonymous works whose copyright belongs to institutions, corporations or legal entities is 50 years from the date of publication of the work.

Special rules on copyright duration apply to specific types of copyrightable works, such as photographs and cinematographic works.

Australia

For original works that are published during the author's lifetime, copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. For original works that are not published during the lifetime of the author, the copyright protection lasts for 70 years from the date of first publication.

For subject matter other than works, the duration of the protection depends on the type of work.

For television and sound broadcasts, copyright lasts for 50 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made and for printed editions, 25 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which the edition was first published. For sound recordings and cinematograph film, copyright lasts 70 years after the end of the calendar year in which the recording or film is first published. 

Austria

In general, the duration of copyright protection is 70 years after the author's death. There are specific regulations for:

  • Film works, where the duration of the right is 70 years after the latest death of the following persons: the main director, the author of the script, the author of the dialogues, and the author of musical works made specifically for the film
  • Related rights of the performers and presenters, where the duration of the right is 50 years after the presentation or, if the presentation was recorded and published or publicly reproduced, within this deadline, 70 years after the publication or reproduction
  • Photographs which are not subject to copyright, where the duration of the right is 50 years after the making of the photography or, if published, 50 years after publication
  • Rights of the producer of audio media, where the duration of the right is 70 years after the publication or 50 years after the recording if not published within this period
  • Radio broadcasts, where the duration of the right is 50 years after the broadcast
  • Databases not subject to copyright, where the duration of the right is 15 years after the finalization of the database or, if published, 15 years after the publication

Renewal of rights provided by the Copyright Act is not possible.

Belgium

Generally, the duration of copyright in an author's work is the author's life, plus 70 years after the author's death. There are variations of this duration depending on the type of the protected work.

Brazil

In general, economic rights in copyrighted works remain valid for 70 years counted as from January 1 of the year following the year of the author's death.

For software, protection of the copyrights remains valid for 50 years counted as from January 1 of the year following the year of the software's publication or, if unpublished, of its creation.

Canada

Copyright in works of authorship lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies and a period of 50 years from that year end.

Where the author of the work is unknown, copyright extends for the shorter of:

  • The remainder of the calendar year of first publication, and an additional 50 years from that year end
  • The remainder of the calendar year in which the work was made plus an additional 75 years from that year end

Where there are two or more authors, copyright protection extends until the death of the last known author, the remainder of the calendar year of the author's death plus an additional 50-year period.

For works that are not published until after the death of the author, copyright extends until the date of publication, performance in public or communication to the public, whichever happens first, the remainder of that calendar year plus an additional 50-year period.

Chile

Protection of the right is granted for the author's entire life, plus 70 years as of date of author's demise.

China

The duration of copyright protection differs according to different types of rights.

For moral rights, such as the right of authorship, the right of revision and the right of integrity shall continue in perpetuity.

For other types of rights, such as the right of publication, right of reproduction and right of performance shall be protected for 50 years, expiring on December 31 of the 50th year after the death of the author; or, if the author is not a natural person, the right expires on December 31 of the 50th year after first publication of the work. However, the work will no longer be protected if it is not published within 50 years after its completion.

Colombia

Copyrights last for the life of the author plus 80 years from the date of the author's death. Nonetheless, if the work is co-authored, the 80 year-period will begin from the date on which the last author dies.

  • If the rights are assigned, the protection of the acquirers lasts for the life of the author plus 25 years. The author and the acquirer may also agree to a different term, but such agreed term may not be longer than 80 years For its part, the protection for the author's heirs, which receive them by means of a succession, will be for the 80 year-term
  • If the author does not have heirs, once he or she dies the work will be deemed in the public domain
  • When the holder of the right is a legal or public entity the protection will last 30 years from its publication

Czech Republic

Copyright protection for economic rights lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work or a pseudonymous work, the copyright lasts for a term of 70 years from the year of its first publication. The moral rights expire with the death of the author (but post-mortem protection is available to a certain extent for relatives and associations of authors).

Denmark

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, the copyright lasts for 70 years from the year of its publication or if it has not been published, 70 years from its creation.

In general, the copyright protection of neighboring rights lasts for 50 years but the duration runs from various dates depending on the neighboring right in question.

Finland

Copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator.

For works with a joint copyright, the term of 70 years is calculated from the death of the last surviving creator.

The Copyrights Act also protects neighbouring rights of performing artists, producers, photographers, certain media organizations and databases. Neighbouring right protection also covers those literary or artistic works, which are not original enough to be covered by copyright (eg, generic photographs). In most cases the protection term for neighbouring rights is 50 years from the publication.

France

The economic rights of the author last for 70 years after his or her death. The 70 years are calculated from January 1 of the civil year following the death of the author. The date of death of the last contributor serves as the reference point for the 70-year post mortem auctoris period for collaborative works.

Moral rights are personal, perpetual, inalienable and not subject to statutes of limitations.

Germany

Copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the author's death.

If copyright is owned by joint authors, it shall expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.

In the case of anonymous and pseudonymous works, copyright shall expire 70 years after publication. However, it shall expire 70 years after creation of the work if the work has not been published within that time limit.

The time limits specified above shall begin with the end of the calendar year in which the event that determines the beginning of the time limit has occurred.

Different protection periods apply to performers and producers of video recordings or films.

Hong Kong

In general, the duration of copyright in literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works is the life of the author plus 50 years. If the author of the work is anonymous, the duration is 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first made, or if during that period the work is made available to the public, 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first made available.

Hungary

Copyright generally lasts during the life of the author and for 70 years after the date of death of the author. The duration of protection for related rights is usually 50 years, although in certain works (eg, sound recordings) the term lasts for 70 years.

India

Copyright in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (including photographs) published within the lifetime of the author, subsists for a period of 60 years from the year following the year in which the author dies. Copyright in works published anonymously or pseudonymously, subsists for 60 years from the year following the year in which it was first published, provided that if the identity of the author is established before this period, copyright will subsist until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the author dies. Copyright subsists in works of international organizations, public undertakings, government works, cinematographs, sound recordings for a period of 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the particular work was published.

Indonesia

The copyright on written works, choreographic works, forms of art, music, architecture, performances, discourse, educational and scientific visual aids and maps are valid for the life of the creator plus 70 years after the creator's death.

The copyright on computer programs, cinematic and photographic works, databases, adaptations and translations are valid for 50 years after the date of first publication.

The copyright on broadcasts is valid for 20 years after the work is first broadcasted.

Ireland

There are different periods of protection for works under Irish copyright law, depending on the nature of the work.

For  literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works or an original database, copyright will expire 70 years after the death of the author. If the musical work with lyrics is co-written, then copyright will expire on the death of the last author. The period of copyright protection applies regardless of the date on which these work was first made available to the public. However:

  • For works that are computer generated, copyright will expire 70 years after the work is first lawfully made available to the public
  • For cable programmes, copyright will expire 50 years after the cable programme was first lawfully included in a cable programme service
  • For typographical arrangements of a published edition, copyright will expire 50 years after the date on which it was first lawfully made available to the public and
  • For broadcast or sound recordings, copyright will expire 50 years after the date on which it was first lawfully made available to the public

There are specific provisions in relation to the duration of copyright in relation to films. Copyright in a film will expire 70 years after the last of the following people dies:

  • The director
  • The author of the music specifically composed for use in the film and
  • The author of the screenplay or dialogue

Israel

Section 38 of the Copyright Act sets the term at the life of the author plus 70 years after his or her death, subject to certain exceptions. In the case of a joint work, copyright subsists throughout the life of its longest surviving joint author plus 70 years after his or her death.

Records are protected for 70 years from creation or, if published within two years of creation, for 70 years from the publication date. Where an insufficient number of copies is made available to the public, the record will be protected for 50 years from creation or publication, respectively.

Fonts are protected under copyright for a term of 70 years following publication.

Italy

Copyright protection is automatic and originates from the mere creation of the copyrightable work.

The protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years, starting from the first calendar year after the death of the author.

In case of joint works [1] and in case of dramatic-musical and choreographic works and pantomimes, the duration of the economic rights is determined in relation to the life of the last-surviving co-author. In case of cinematographic works, the term is calculated taking into consideration the last-surviving person among the director, the screenplay writers and the author of the music if it is specifically created for the film. In case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the duration is 70 years from publication, unless the author reveals his identity prior to expiration of such term.

In case of collective works [2], where the various parts of the work are published at different times, the duration of economic rights for each part occurs from the time of its publication.

With regards to neighboring rights, phonographic producers' rights last 50 years from the fixation of the phonogram. However, Legislative Decree No. 22/2014 (implementing the EU Directive 2011/77/EU of September 27, 2011) provides that, should the phonogram be lawfully published or communicated to the public, the protection would be extended to 70 years from the date of first lawful publication or communication to the public.

Performers' rights last for 50 years from the time of performance or, if a fixation of the performance is published or communicated to the public during that time, from the first publication or communication to the public, whichever is earlier.

Software is protected as copyrighted work; the Italian Copyright Law provides for some specific provisions in relation to this type of works.

Databases may be protected as copyrighted works in case they represent creative works resulting from the intellectual activity of the author, with consequent application of the relevant rules on copyright. Should the database lack such characteristics, the creator of the database would be granted a sui generis right against full reproduction or material extraction of content lasting 15 years from the first January of the year subsequent to its completion or publication.

Moral rights never expire. Upon the death of the author, the rights may be enforced by the author's heir(s). Furthermore, moral rights cannot be waived.

[1] Pursuant to Section 10 of the Italian Copyright Law a "joint work" is a work created as a result of the indistinguishable and non-severable contribution of different persons.
[2] Pursuant to Section 3 of the Italian Copyright Law a collective work is a work created with the contribution of different authors when each contribution can easily be distinguished and severed (by way of example encyclopedias, dictionaries, anthologies, newspapers and magazines)

Japan

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 50 years. Some special calculations are applicable for copyrightable works made before or during the Second World War.

For an anonymous work or a pseudonymous work, the copyright lasts for a term of 50 years from its first publication, or a term of 50 years from the death of the author if the author is known, whichever expires first.

For a work owned by an entity (eg, work made for hire), the copyright lasts for a term of 50 years from the work's first publication. If it is not made public within the 50-year term, the copyright lasts for 50 years after the creation.

If a work is a movie, its copyright endures for a term of 70 years from its first publication. If the movie is not made public, the copyright lasts for 70 years after the creation of the movie.

Luxembourg

The duration of an author's right is the author's life, plus 70 years after his or her death.

Mexico

Moral rights are perpetual; economic rights last for the life of the author plus an additional 100 years.

Netherlands

The copyright shall expire 70 years after the first of January of the year following the year of the death of the author. The duration of the copyright belonging jointly to two or more persons in their capacity as co-authors of a work shall be calculated from the first of January of the year following the year of the death of the last surviving co-author. If the author is unknown or is not a natural person, the copyright expires 70 years after the first of January of the year following the year of first publication of the work.

New Zealand

Copyright protection in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work generally lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 50 years. Where the work is of unknown authorship, the copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first made available to the public by an authorized act.

For sound recordings and films, the copyright expires 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made, or if it is made available to the public by an authorized act before the end of this period, then 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made available. Copyright in communication work expires 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first communicated to the public.

Copyright in a typographical arrangement of a published edition expires 25 years after the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published.

Crown copyright generally lasts for 100 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work is made.

Norway

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, the copyright lasts for 70 years from the year of its publication or if it has not been published, 70 years from its creation. In general, the copyright protection of neighboring rights lasts for 50 years but the duration runs from various dates depending on the neighboring right in question.

Poland

As a general rule, the duration of economic copyright protection is 70 years from the death of the author. If the copyrights are owned by joint authors, the 70-year period lapses with the death of the last surviving co-author.

However, if the author of the work is unknown, the 70-year period starts from the date of the first dissemination of the work, unless a pseudonym does not raise any doubts as to the author's identity or the author has disclosed his/her identity. Moreover, if the author's economic rights are vested in a person other that the author of the work, the period starts from the date of dissemination - or the date of establishment of the work if it has not been disseminated.

In the case of an audiovisual work, the protection period lapses with the death of the last of the following persons: the main director, the author of the script, the author of the dialogues or the composer of the music. In the case of a word-musical work, if it was created for a particular work, the period lapses with the death of last of the following: the author of the verbal work or the composer of the music.

The protection of copyrights is calculated in years (following the year in which the event commencing the protection period took place). Different protection periods apply to rights to artistic performances, producers' rights to phonograms and videograms, broadcasting rights, and rights to first publications and scientific and critical publications.

Portugal

As general rule, Copyright protection expires 70 years after the death of the author of the work, even in cases where the work was only published or disclosed after the death of the author.

In the case of works in collaboration, copyright expires 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. As per collective works or works originally assigned to a corporate person, copyright expires 70 years from the date of the first licit publication or disclosure, except if the individuals who create it were identified in the version of the work available to the public.

The duration of an anonymous work (or work that was legally published or disclosed without identifying the respective author) protection is for 70 years after publication or disclosure.

Romania

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. In case of co-authored works, the 70 years term starts after the death of the last co-author. For anonymous works or pseudonymous works, the copyright endures for a term of 70 years from the year of its first publication.

Unpublished works that are lawfully disclosed to the public following the expiry of the copyright (eg, after the death of the author) are protected for 25 years starting from the date when they were disclosed.

For musical works with lyrics, the 70 year term is calculated from the death of the last survivor between the lyricist and the composer, whether or not they have been designated as co-authors, provided that the contribution made to that musical work has been specifically created for it.

These terms are calculated starting with January 1 of the next year following the death of the author or the public disclosure.

Russia

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years, starting from the first calendar year after the death of the author. The law provides certain specifics in relation to anonymous works or works published under pseudonym, to works published post mortem and for certain categories of authors (such as participants of the Second World War).

In the case of joint works, the duration of rights is determined in relation to the life of the last-surviving co-author.

Unless differently specified, with regard to neighboring rights, the period of protection is 50 years and occurs from the date of broadcasting or performance.

Personal inalienable rights never expire. Upon the death of the author, the rights may be enforced by the author's heir(s). Furthermore, such rights cannot be waived.

Saudi Arabia

The period of copyright protection for an author is the duration of his/her lifetime and 50 years following his/her death. For joint works, the period of protection is computed from the date of the death of the last surviving author. If the writing is in the form of various parts or volumes then each volume is treated as a separate and independent piece of work.

Where the author is a corporate entity, the period of protection is 50 years from the date of first publication.

The period of protection for audio works, audio-visual works, films, collective works and computer software is 50 years from the date of the first show or publication of the work.

The period of protection for applied arts (handcrafted or manufactured) and photographs is 25 years from the date of first publication.

The period of protection for broadcasting organizations is 20 years from the date of the first transmission of programs or broadcast materials.

The period of protection for the producers of sound recordings and performers is 50 years from the date of performance or its first recording.

Singapore

The duration of copyright varies according to the type of work concerned. Generally, copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work shall be effective for 70 years from the end of the year in which the author died. Copyright in published editions of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works shall be effective for 25 years from when the edition was first published. Copyright for sound recordings and films shall be effective for 70 years from the end of the year in which the sound recording or film was first published. Copyright for broadcastings and cable programs shall be effective for 50 years from the end of the year of making the broadcast or cable program. Copyright in performances shall be effective for 70 years from the end of the year of the performance.

Slovak Republic

The copyright exists from the moment when the work is objectively expressed in a way perceptible by senses. No registration is required. The duration of a copyright depends on the fact whether the exclusive personal rights or the exclusive property rights are concerned.

The exclusive personal rights are not transferable and they cease to exist upon the author's death.

The property rights last from the moment of the creation of the work during the life of the author and 70 years after his/her death.

In the case of the co-author's work, the property rights last throughout the life of the co-author who lives the longest and 70 years after his/her death.

With respect to the rights related to the copyright, the duration of the property rights to the work is limited to 50 years only.

South Korea

An individual author can enjoy copyright protection for 70 years after his or her death (an individual author of a cinematographic work can enjoy copyright protection for 70 years from the date of its publication) and the copyright protection term for a work made for hire is 70 years after the date of its publication.

Spain

Copyright protection is generally granted for 70 years from the death of the author where the author is a natural person. In those cases in which the author is a legal person, the term of protection is 70 years from January 1 of the year following that in which the work was lawfully published, or following the year of its creation, if the work was not published. It should be noted that copyright of works owned by authors who died before 1988 may benefit from longer protection terms. Some types of works/rights do benefit from shorter terms only.

Sweden

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the creator plus an additional 70 years. If the work has several creators, the copyright lasts until the end of the 70th year after the last surviving creator's death. For an anonymous work, the copyright endures until the end of the 70th year after the work was made public.

The Copyrights Act also protects neighboring rights of performing artists, producers, photographers, radio and TV-organizations and databases. The neighboring rights (similar to the economic rights of copyright) generally last until 50 years after the right was made public but the term may vary depending on various factors.

The copyright protection for catalogues, ie, a table or other work in which a large amount of information have been compiled or which is the result of a substantial investment, lasts for 15 years after the work is produced. However, if the work has been made available to the public within 15 years from the production, the copyright lasts 15 years from the year when the work was first made available to the public.

Switzerland

Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years, with an exception for computer programs, for which protection ends 50 years after the death of the author.

Protection for related rights expires 50 years after the performance, publication or production of the work. The right of a performing artist to be named as the artist (a moral right) expires with the death of the artist, but in any event no earlier than 50 years after the performance.

Taiwan

The duration of a copyright is:

  • The life of the author plus 50 years after the author's death
  • Ten years from the first public release, if a work is first publicly released between the 40th and 50th year after the author's death

In case of a joint authorship work, the duration is 50 years after the death of the last surviving author. In case of pseudonymous authorship work or an anonymous authorship work, it is 50 years from the time of public release. In case of authorship works created by a juristic person, it is 50 years after the public release or 50 years after the completion of such creation if not publicly released within 50 years after the completion of such creation. In addition, the duration for authorship in relation to photographic, audiovisual, sound recordings, or performances is 50 years after the public release of such authorship work or 50 years after the completion of such creation in case of no public release is made within 50 years of completion of such creation.

Ukraine

Copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the death of an author or the death of the last co-author. Copyright to anonymous or pseudonymous works shall continue for 70 years after the work is lawfully made available to the public.

Moral rights of the author exist perpetually.

United Arab Emirates

For most categories of works, rights protected under the Copyright Law are protected for the entire lifetime of the author, and then for 50 years following the death of the author. Where the author is a corporate person, the right shall be protected for 50 years from the first day of the year following the year of first publication.

United Kingdom

Provided the work qualifies for protection, protection arises automatically on creation of the work.

For literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, duration is the author's life plus 70 years after the author's death, unless it is computer generated, in which case copyright subsists for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made. Film copyright expires 70 years after the last death of the director, author and composer. Copyright in broadcasts expires 50 years from the end of the year of the broadcast. Copyright in typographical arrangements of published editions expires 25 years from the end of the year of first publication.

United States

For works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors.

No renewal is required for works created on or after January 1, 1978. For works published or registered prior to January 1, 1978, renewal registration is optional after 28 years, but does provide certain legal advantages.

If a copyrightable work is not a "work for hire," an assignment of the copyright can be terminated within a five-year period beginning 35 years after the initial grant. If the rights granted include the right to publish, then the assignment can be terminated 35 years after publication or 40 years after grant of publication right, whichever is first.