What is a Copyright?

The creators of works of literature, science and art receive protection for their works through the German Copyright Law  (Urheberrechtsgesetz).
Works can be:
  1. Lingual works as writings, speeches, computer programs
  2. Works of music
  3. Pantomimical works and dance art
  4. Fine arts, including architecture and applied art, as well as there outlines
  5. Photographical works, including similarly constructed works
  6. Film works including similarly developed  works
  7. Scientific and technical representations e.g. drawings, plans, maps, outlines, etc.
The copyright comes into existance with the creation of the work, not depending on its publication. An unpublished manuscript contains the same copyright protection as a painting exhibited in a museum. In contrast to trademarks, designs and patents, the copyright does not have to be registered and no fees. The copyright automatically receives its validation, beginning with its creation. Through the so called „Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works” (a treaty in International Public Law), the copyright is automatically protected in more than 160 countries. Proprietor of the copyright is the creator or the creators if it is a work that was created by more than one person. The proprietor must be a natural person. Important: Proprietor is not the employer of the creator. The copyright itself always remains with the creator. It cannot be transferred, which makes German copyright law very different from the anglo-american copyright law. The copyright owner can only grant certain rights of use regarding his work to third parties.