Copyright and Related Rights

The protection of copyright and related rights has an exceptional importance for maintenance and development of potentials of creative companies and for creation of individual artists, musicians, writers and other authors in cultural and art sector

Copyright is the author’s right in respect of his copyright work.
A copyright work is an original intellectual creation in the literary, artistic and scientific domain, having an individual character and expressed in any manner whatsoever.

Originality of a work is achieved through the author’s freedom to express creativity resulting in a creation as an expression of the author’s personality.
Copyright works are expressed by various means, such as written or spoken word, sounds, two-dimensional or three-dimensional forms, colours, body movements or otherwise.
Copyright does not protect an idea but a work expressing that idea. Thus, an idea to create a work does not necessarily need to be original but the author’s expression of that idea does.
Authors of the works have the exclusive right to use their works, and to authorise or prohibit others to use them. Authors grant authorisations to use the works by written contracts.
Exceptions to this rule are called content restrictions of copyright and they are expressly prescribed by the Copyright and Related Rights Act.

The author may prohibit, or authorise under agreed conditions, reproduction, communication to the public, translation or other adaptation of a work and placing the work on the market. Authors frequently authorise individuals or legal persons by contracts to use their works in a particular manner, generally subject to payment of an appropriate remuneration. In addition to these property (economic) rights, the author has also moral rights, which are related to the person of the author.

Copyright in a work is conferred to its author by the mere act of creation of the work and, unlike the majority of other forms of intellectual property, it is not subject to any administrative or registration procedures or mandatory deposit of the work. It remains valid for the life of the author and seventy years after the author’s death. Copyright is inheritable and the heirs of the author usually have all the rights that would belong to the author.
Upon expiry of copyright protection, a copyright work becomes a public good and can be used freely, with the obligation to recognise authorship, to respect the copyright work as well as honour and reputation of the author.

Related Rights

Related rights are the rights close (i.e. related or neighbouring) to copyright, they presume the existence of a copyright work and have their particular subject matter of protection. Their purpose is mainly to protect legal interest of those natural and legal persons whose activities enable the copyright work to become accessible to the public; in Croatia, protection is granted to:
  • performers in their performances;
  • producers of phonograms in their phonograms;
  • audiovisual producers in their videograms;
  • broadcasting organisations in their programme signals;
  • publishers of press publications in their press publications;
  • publishers in their written editions;
  • producers of non-original databases in their non-original databases.

Management of Copyright and Related Rights

The rights may be managed:
  • individually - the management of rights relating to an individual use of a copyright work or the subject matter of protection of related rights, in accordance with the relevant contract between the right holder and the user of the subject matter of protection, carried out by the right holder himself or through a representative;
  • collectively - the rights are managed by an organisation of right holders having the authorisation for carrying out such an activity granted by the State Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter: the Office). The Office may grant the authorisation for carrying out the related activity to only one organisation for a particular kind of rights and a particular category of rights holders, taking into account the number of members based on the received powers of attorney, the number of contracts on mutual representation concluded with foreign organisations and other relevant circumstances. An organisation may manage one, two or more kinds of rights referring, as a rule, to a particular category of copyright or related right holders. The list of collective management organisations in Croatia operating with the authorisation granted by the Office is available here.