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Copyright and related rights: term of protection
This Directive aims to harmonise the term of protection for copyright and related rights in the European Union. It sets the term of protection for copyright at 70 years and for related rights at 50 years.
Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights (codified version).
The term of protection of copyright for a literary or artistic work is set at 70 years from:
- the death of the author of the work or the death of the last surviving author in the case of a work of joint ownership;
- the date on which the work was lawfully made available to the public if it is anonymous or was produced under a pseudonym.
The term of protection for a film or audiovisual work is set at 70 years after the death of the last survivor among the following: the principal director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogue and the composer of music specifically created for use in the cinematographic or audiovisual work.
The term of protection of related rights (performers, producers of phonograms, film producers and broadcasting organisations) is set at 50 years. This term is to be calculated on a case-by-case basis from the date of the performance, the publication or communication of its fixation.
The term of protection begins simultaneously in all the Member States. It is calculated from 1 January of the year following the event giving rise to it.
Protection of works from Non-EU Member Countries
If the work originates in a third country and the author is not a Community national, the protection granted in the Member States ends at the final date of protection in the country of origin, but must not exceed the term set in the Community.
The Member States are required to communicate to the Commission immediately any plans for new related rights.
Directive 2006/116/EC codifies and repeals Directive 93/98/EEC harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights which was substantially amended by Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.
Entry into force - Date of expiry
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
OJ L 372 of 27.12.2006