The copyright protects unique and nonrecurring results of a creative intellectual activity. Author’s works are namely the works of literature, music, drama and the musical-dramatic works, works of choreography and pantomime, works of photography and works expressed by a process similar to photography, audiovisual works, such as cinematographic works, works of art, such as paintings, graphic works, sculptural works, works of architecture including urbanistic works, the works of applied arts and cartographic works.
The copyright regulation in the Czech Republic is based in the Act no. 121/2000 Coll., on copyright and the rights related to the copyright. Apart from the abovementioned works, the Act also considers computer programs (software) and databases to be works in the sense of the copyright act – as collective works.
The legal construction of copyright in the Czech context is based on the dual structure of rights. Firstly there are so-called exclusive moral rights of the author, fully bound to the person of the author; these are namely the right to claim authorship and the right to the inviolability of the work. These rights cease to exist with the death of the author. The second segment of the subjective copyright are the exclusive economic rights of the author, consisting mainly from the right to use the work and give consent for the work to be used, namely through the license agreement.
In the case of the work being created by an employee as a part of their work assignment, the right to carry out the proprietary rights is transferred to the employer. In contrast to the moral rights, the economic rights pass on to the heirs or legal successors of the author. The exclusive privileges following from the economic rights expire seventy years after the death of the author.
Where the industrial rights (patents, utility designs, industrial designs and trademarks) require to undergo the process of registration to exist, the copyright protects the results of an intellectual activity on an informal basis. The author of the work is protected from the moment creation of the work’s creation (the moment it could be perceived by senses). Although in certain foreign countries (e.g. in USA) for the copyright to be enforceable, it must have a prior registration with a state authority. If the work is not immediately published, it is useful to document the authorship of the work adequately, e.g. through the safekeeping of copyrighted works.
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