Ownership and transfer

Eligible owners

Who is the owner of a copyrighted work?

Initially, the individual whose efforts created the work is considered as the author the work and therefore enjoys all rights to the completed work. However, companies, employers, other individuals and the state, etc, may obtain copyright through agreements or based on the Law (succession).

Employee and contractor work

May an employer own a copyrighted work made by an employee?

According to the Civil Code of Ukraine (article 429) employees hold all moral rights to work created in relation to their employment. The proprietary rights to works created by an employee are jointly owned the employee and their employer, unless prescribed otherwise in an agreement between them. Such an agreement must be in writing.

The Law contains contradictory provisions assigning all proprietary rights to the employee. However, the Supreme Court of Ukraine in 2009 resolved this conflict by giving priority to the rules introduced by the Civil Code of Ukraine.

May a hiring party own a copyrighted work made by an independent contractor?

Moral rights to a commissioned work belongs to independent contractor as the author. According to the Civil Code of Ukraine (article 430), the commissioner and the contractor jointly own the proprietary rights to a commissioned work, unless otherwise prescribed in a written agreement between them.

Joint and collective ownership

May a copyrighted work be co-owned?

The Law allows co-authorship of a work. Co-authors may manage their rights by entering into an agreement on respective issues of joint co-authorship.

Co-authorship can be separable, when each author makes independent contributions to the work which are clearly identifiable and can be used by the author independently (ie, publish or modify his or her part without requiring the consent of the other co-authors).

Inseparable co-authorship means that contribution of one co-author cannot be clearly distanced from the contributions of the other co-authors.

The exclusive rights to a work may be co-owned by number of persons. Such rights can be obtained by a number of persons simultaneously through a transfer agreement.

Transfer of rights

May rights be transferred?

Moral rights to a work are not transferable.

Proprietary rights can be assigned using a written agreement.


May rights be licensed?

Proprietary rights to work can be licensed under a licence agreement.

Under an exclusive licence the licensor cannot enjoy the rights constituting the scope of licence or grant licensed rights to third person(s).

Under a non-exclusive licence, the licensor enjoys all rights licensed and can grant the identical scope of rights to third persons.

A single licence allows the licensor to enjoy the rights which are licensed, but the licensor cannot license the identical scope of rights to any other persons.

A licence agreement must be made in writing. The type of licence, term of the licence, the territory, the particular uses the licence permits must be specified in an agreement. Only existing rights can be licensed.

Are there compulsory licences? What are they?

There are no compulsory licences related to copyright.

Are licences administered by performing rights societies? How?

There are no performing rights societies in Ukraine. Collecting rights societies might enforce rights under an agreement with a rights holder or another collecting rights society.


Is there any provision for the termination of transfers of rights?

There are no specific provisions regarding the termination of transfer of rights to a work, apart from general provisions of the Civil Code of Ukraine regarding the termination of obligations.

Additionally, a transfer agreement is deemed null and void if it is not made in a written form.


Can documents evidencing transfers and other transactions be recorded with a government agency?

Yes, an assignee might request the registration of a copyright transfer agreement with the Ministry. For this purpose, the copyright holder must submit an application for registration, and provide a copy of the agreement and an exemplar of work.

Additionally, a person requesting registration must pay an official fee.