How did these 15 questions come about?
The questions have been put together by representatives of consumers' interests. National copyright experts from the 27 EU Member States provided answers under their respective jurisdiction. The European Observatory coordinates this work in the context of its Working Groups.
* Vprašanja so na voljo tudi v slovenski.
Status date of the answers for Slovenia: 02/2020
9. I tried to copy a movie from a DVD to my computer, but could not do it because of something called ‘Technical Protection Measures’. What is that and am I allowed to get around them in order to make private copies?
12. If copyright-protected works are included into my posts automatically by social media platforms, am I responsible for this and is this a copyright infringement? What if I link to them or embed them in my own website or blog?
1. What does copyright and related rights mean and cover, and is it the same all over the world?
Copyright and related rights refer to a list of private rights, granted automatically by law, which confer on their holders a timely limited monopoly on or a right to remuneration for the use of their works (copyright); or for the use of their performances, phonograms, videograms, broadcasts, publishers’ editions and databases (related rights). They include moral rights (e.g. right of authorship, right to integrity of the work), economic rights (e.g. rights of reproduction, distribution, broadcasting, cable retransmission, making available on the internet) and other rights of the author (e.g. right of access to the work, remuneration for the resale of fine arts). The system of copyright and related rights is not the same all over the world; however, in practice the exploitation of protected content and its legal procedures functions everywhere in a similar way.
2. Who owns copyright and how does copyright benefit creators, 'rights holder(s), consumers, society, economy and culture as a whole?
In the first instance, the author (creator), as a natural person, owns the copyright to his or her work. Copyright benefits authors (enhances creativity and personality, ensures monetary reward), rights holders (assures the return of investment in the production of works), consumers (enables the enjoyment of culture, art and science ), society (enables and accelerates cultural, scientific and economic growth), the economy (contributes significant shares to a country’s GDP, employment, export) and culture as a whole (assures creativity and cultural diversity).
3. Do I automatically get copyright protection, for example, if I take a photograph with my phone, or do I have to register my work to get protection?
As a natural person you get copyright protection automatically by merely creating a work (e.g. taking a photograph with your mobile phone, writing a poem, drawing a sketch), provided that such work bears at least some individuality (originality). Registration of the work is not necessary.
4. What is copyright infringement? Can I get in trouble for copyright infringement? What if I wasn't aware that I infringed something protected by copyright?
Copyright infringement occurs when a work is used (e.g. published, reproduced, distributed, performed, broadcast, made available to the public, adapted) without respecting the author’s moral rights (e.g. without quoting his or her name) or without acquiring his economic rights for the respective use. You can run into trouble for copyright infringement, depending on the scale of and knowledge about the infringement. If you were not aware of infringing something protected by copyright, the sanctions may include only that the infringement be prohibited, but with no claim for damages.
5. Under which conditions can I use a work protected by copyright created by another? I was told that using works created by others is simply a quote and thus is always allowed.
You can use a copyright-protected work created by another person either a) through a contract with the rights holder, or b) in special cases of copyright limitation or exception, which are defined in the Copyright Act. Quotations are an example of such limitation. However, quotations are not always allowed, and are permissible only if they fulfil several conditions: a main work must exist (where the quote is placed), the quoted work must already have been disclosed and the quotation is necessary for the purpose of illustration, argumentation or referral. Under these conditions you may quote parts of any category of works, or entire works of specific categories (closed list): photographs, works of fine art, architecture, applied art, industrial design, cartography.
6. Am I allowed to use music protected by copyright as a soundtrack for a home video that I made and want to upload on a video platform?
You are allowed to use music protected by copyright as a soundtrack for a home video that you have made provided that you copy and adapt that music for non-public use only and that you do not make financial gain from the soundtrack, either directly or indirectly. You can upload the soundtrack to a video platform provided that only non-public access to it is possible. In both cases, the term ‘non-public’ means persons that are inside your usual family circle or the circle of your personal acquaintances.
7. Am I allowed to give a copy of a work protected by copyright to a family member or a friend?
You are allowed to give a copy of a work protected by copyright to a family member or friend.
8. Am I allowed to download a work protected by copyright from the internet and does it matter which technology is used and whether I download only parts of the work?
You are allowed to download a copyright-protected work from the internet provided a) you have agreed to a licence agreement for that purpose, b) that Open Content Licences exist for that purpose or c) that copyright limitations are in place for that purpose. This is valid also for downloading parts of the work, if they in themselves (i.e. content and extent) are still protected (i.e. fulfil the characteristics of an individual intellectual creation). Unprotected parts can be downloaded free of charge. The type of download technology is not relevant.
Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) refer to any technology or device that is designed to prevent the illegal use of protected content, such as copying, downloading or distributing films, which have not been authorised by the rights holder. From a practical point of view, you are not allowed to ‘get around’ these measures in order to make private copies of a copyrighted work.
10. What are copyright levies?
Copyright levies are a form of fair monetary compensation that rights holders should receive in certain cases, where reproduction of their protected content happens for private purposes and is thus allowed by law. Such levies, which are collected indirectly by the authors' collecting societies through a small addition to the price of new blank carriers and/or new reproduction devices, should compensate them adequately for the prejudice/harm suffered.
11. Am I infringing copyright if I watch a movie by streaming it instead of downloading it from the internet?
You are not infringing copyright if you watch a film by streaming it (instead of downloading it from the internet). From the point of view of consumers, streaming does not involve reproduction or other relevant acts of use under copyright law. The latter does not in any way cover watching, reading, listening or other forms of enjoying copyrighted works.
If copyright-protected works are included in your posts automatically by social media platforms, this may be copyright infringement, but you are not liable for this. Liability may arise should you be notified of such unlawful posting and/or asked to remove it from your post, and you subsequently fail to comply.
You may establish a link to copyright-protected works on another website if they are posted there lawfully.
You may embed copyright-protected works into your blog or website if only non-public access to either/both is possible. The term ‘non-public’ means persons that are inside your usual family circle or the circle of your personal acquaintances. Since blogs and website access usually go beyond these circles, the abovementioned embedding would make you liable for copyright infringement.
13. When I create a work and upload it online, terms and conditions of many sites ask for me to transfer my copyright to the site. Does that mean I lose all those rights in them for the future?
No, you do not lose all your rights. Some copyrights are not transferable at all and such transfer would be null and void (this concerns the transfer of copyright in its entirety, moral rights, the resale right on works of fine art, the private copying levies’ right, rights with respect to all the author’s future works, rights with respect to as yet unknown means of use). The transfer of other rights may be revoked under certain conditions, to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
14. My avatar is based on my favourite movie star, cartoon character or sports club. Can I get in trouble for infringement of copyright or any other legislation because of this?
In principle, the images of film stars, cartoon characters or signs of sports clubs are protected as works (by copyright), as signs (by trade marks) or as the outward appearance of an object (by industrial designs), as images of personalities (by personality rights) and as signs or firm names (by the Law on Corporations and Law on Associations). However, in the use of such images and signs for creating and using an avatar, the risk of running into trouble is low due to the private, non-commercial and non-market use of the avatar. However, if you plan an expanded and possible market use of such avatar, it is recommended to enter into an agreement with the respective rights holder. An even better solution is not to use others’ protected works, but to be creative and create your own original avatar without searching for authorisations. This will not only save you from risking or acquiring others’ rights, but allow you to become the author of your own avatar and dispose of your own rights.
15. How do I know whether a work is offered legally or illegally online?
The legality of an online offer can be concluded from the characteristics of its website, such as: the conditions of access and downloading of content (accepting general terms and conditions or an end user agreement, executing a user registration with username, password); publication of warnings, explanations and notes on the website; payment conditions (payment of a download fee or subscription payments). There are strong indicators for an illegal online offer if it concerns — without an end user agreement or an existing free legal system — books in their entirety, sheet music, electronic databases or computer programs or, in the case of a requirement for the consumer to share files from his or her computer, with the site making the offer in exchange for the offer. If in doubt, the consumer should avoid downloading the content.
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