Collective Management Organisations, Copyright

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The DPMA acts as the supervisory authority under the Act on Collective Management Organisations (CMO Act - Verwertungsgesellschaftengesetz). The Arbitration Board under the CMO Act is also integrated in the organisation of the DPMA.

The DPMA is also responsible for the Register of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works and the Register of Out-of-Commerce Works. The DPMA is also involved in tasks in connection with the European Orphan Works Database. The DPMA does not have any further duties in the field of copyright.

General information on copyright

Unlike industrial property rights, copyright arises upon creation of the work. There are no formal requirements to be met. Accordingly, a registration in an official register is neither required nor possible in order to obtain copyright protection.

Works protected by copyright are individual intellectual creations. The author has moral rights, such as the recognition of his authorship and protection from distortion of his work, and economic exploitation rights.

The author enjoys copyright protection from the time of creation of the work; protection ends 70 years after the death of the author. Upon expiry of the term of protection, the work is free for general use and can be freely exploited. It is not necessary to obtain the authorisation of the author's successors in title.

The externer Link Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz) defines the rights of authors, but also provides for exceptions (known as limitations) for certain users (e.g. for educational institutions).
The EUIPO (European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights), together with all EU member states, has compiled questions and answers externer Link specifically for educatior and learners. These FAQs help teachers and students in the EU to find information on using copyright protected content in the context of education and training, particularly online. The FAQs are available in English for the EU member states and the official language of each respective member state.


Last updated: 18 May 2022