How does copyright work?

Copyright is not just for artists – it is also useful for companies, which, for example, can protect software. 

Copyright protects literary and artistic works such as novels, songs, paintings, sculptures, films, etc. But it also protects the advertising text in your prospectuses, your original photos, your website design and the software you develop. 

Automatic protection

Protection arises automatically on creation of the work and ends 70 years (50 years in the case of software) after the author’s death. But the author can choose to authorize the use, distribution, copying and even sale of their work, for consideration or not. 

Scenarios in which protection does not apply

Original commercial ideas, concepts, discoveries, principles, etc. are not protected by copyright. Copyright only protects the way an idea is expressed, such as a written text. The idea however, is not protected. A business plan can therefore benefit from the protection of copyright as a drafted text with, as its key, a ban on copying or distributing it without the author's consent. However, the ideas contained in the business plan are not protected. 

Use of protected works

In order to be able to use a work protected by copyright, authorization is always required. This may be granted by the holder of the right or stem directly from the law on copyright.


Last modification 17.08.2021

Top of page