Copyright Law and related Property Rights, including Publishing Law

Michelangelo already had copyright. He didn’t even have to apply for it.

The Austrian Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz, UrhG) protects works of literature and art, related property rights (performance protection) and certain personal rights. The protection does not require registration or the like, but rather arises through the creation of a work in the area of literature, musical art, visual arts, and cinema (also as a collected edition), service provision (databases, performers, photo – and record producers etc.) respectively there is protection from violation of personal rights (copyright dispute, protection of works, protection of diaries and letters, rights in terms of protection of one’s own image).

In case of breach of the Copyright Act, the holder of rights may demand the cessation of the infringing use and the removal thereof, and generally, payment regardless of negligence or fault, or in the case of negligence, damages or a claim to unjust enrichment, each including the right to financial statements, publication of the judgement and information about the origin and distribution channel. The cessation, but also the preserving of evidence (“house search under civil law”) or the ability to pay (“freezing of assets”) can be enforced through a preliminary injunction. An intentional copyright infringement is also a criminal offence.

The Austrian Civil Code and the Copyright Act contain special provisions for publishing agreements, i.e. agreement concluded between authors and publishers.



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