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Protection and ownership

Copyrightable works

What works are eligible for copyright protection in your jurisdiction?

All literary, scientific or artistic creations if they are original and expressed by any means.

Are there any special provisions for the protection of non-artistic works (eg, software and databases)?

Yes, the Copyright Act provides protection for the creators of a software (or the company that publishes under its name). For databases, the Copyright Act stablishes a special sui generis protection right for databases, provided that the selection or arrangement of its content is original.

Are any works explicitly excluded from copyright protection?

Yes. Article 13 of the Copyright Act expressly excludes from protection:

  • any legal or regulatory provision and drafts thereof;
  • judgments or decisions of jurisdictional bodies;
  • acts, resolutions, discussions and rulings of public bodies; and
  • the official translation of all such texts.

Related IP rights

Can copyrightable works be protected by other IP rights (eg, trademarks and designs)?

Yes, by trademarks, designs and patents if such works comply with all requirements established by the corresponding acts.



Who may own copyright in a work?

Primarily, the author or authors. Secondarily or by way of assignment or legal provision, the legal person which makes the work available to the public, the author’s assignees, heirs, licensors, publishers (sub-publishers or co-publishers) and producers (or co-producers).

Joint and collective ownership

What rules and restrictions govern the joint or collective ownership of a copyright work?

In case of joint authorship, the Copyright Act establishes that the rights pertain to all authors in the proportion determined by them or, in absence of agreement, the proportion will be based on the number of co-authors. In addition, once the work has been made available to the public, the co-author cannot withhold its consent to exploit the work without a reasonable reason.

Employee and commissioned work

What rules and restrictions govern the ownership of copyright in a work created in the course of employment (including works by employees and commissioned works by independent contractors)?

There are some rules established in the Copyright Act for the assignment of rights when the author is an employee (Articles 51 and 97.4 of the Copyright Act). The agreement between the parties is imperative and must be made in writing. Nevertheless, if there is no agreement between them, the law presumes that the exploitation rights over the work created by the employee pertain exclusively to the employer, provided that:

  • all legal requirements for considering a person an employee are met (ie, voluntary service delivery, subordination and remuneration); and
  • the work has been made as part of an employment contract or in the execution of duties.

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