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Copyright | Habefast

Copyright Definition Glossaire

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a right that allows an author to protect the exploitation of his work for a period of time. Copyright is used in artistic fields, in literature, or in scientific fields. It is symbolized by this symbol: © and it is often followed by the name of the owner of the copyright, and the indication of the year of the first publication.

This commercial right protects a creation, but is only valid in common law countries.

Copyright and author's rights

Although the term has entered the Swiss vocabulary, it has no legal value in the country. In Switzerland, a work or a production generates by its creation the notion of intellectual property. Unlike copyright protection, the protection by copyright allows a work, by the simple fact of its creation, to be protected from counterfeiting, reproduction or modification by intellectual property rights. Thus, it is necessary to wait until a work falls into the public domain to be able to use it without legal risks.

There are several notable differences between the two concepts:

  • Copyright, unlike copyright, protects a work, not the author of that work.
  • Copyright allows the modification of the work without the consent of its author and in case of litigation, it is on the principles of defamation or on consumer law that the arguments are based and not on the concept of intellectual property.
  • In order to be valid, copyright requires a deposit, contrary to the copyright acquired by the mere fact of the creation of the work. 

What is the point of copyright?

To be useful, the symbol must be placed on the work to be protected, because it allows to warn the public that the work they are looking at is not free of rights. It is often used to protect brand logos or musical productions.