Legal notes to copyright registration in Argentina

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Copyright registration in Argentina. Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina is a developing country that ranks very high on the Human Development Index, the second-highest in Latin America after Chile. It is a regional power and retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in Argentina.

Copyright in Argentina

Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created in a certain material form, regardless of content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, copyright registration is still advised because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.

When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has registered copyright in advance will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.

Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in Argentina

Argentina is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1967.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

As Argentina is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Argentina will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from Argentina can be that the work is made and published for the first time in this country or if the author of the work is of Argentina ethnicity.

While in other countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, registering for copyright in Argentina is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when copyright is obtained automatically.

When registering, the work – the subject matter of the application gets a date and a time stamp recorded, as well as information about the work and proof of work concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.

Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.

If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a significantly big amount of money and time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.

Documents for copyright registration in Argentina

To register for copyright protection in Argentina, the author needs to prepare the following documents:

  • Declaration of copyright registration;
  • Two copies of copyrighted work;
  • Documents proving the right to apply;
  • Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
  • Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
  • Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
  • Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
  • Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).

Copyright law in Argentina

Copyright law in Argentina was first introduced by the 1853 Constitution of Argentina. Article 17 of the Copyright law states that “Every author or inventor is the exclusive owner of his work, invention or discovery, for the term granted by law”.

Juan Bautista Alberdi – one of the politicians who influences the content of Argentina’s Constitution had intended for the copyright term to be indefinite, but during the writing of the Constitution, it was decided to give a time limit, as done in Chile and the United States, mainly for the betterment and development of society.

The enactment of the Constitution was followed by Law 111, but it was a patent law for only patents, inventions, discoveries, etc., and had no mention of artistic works. Nonetheless, despite the lack of specific copyright law like in modern days, jurisprudence would usually still grant copyright protection based on the Constitutional article alone.

During the Argentina Centennial, after one major dispute, the first copyright law was enacted in 1913. It was the 9.141 law. In 1933, a new and more detailed copyright law would be enacted which is the 11.723 law, which is still in force.

You can see a list of Argentina IP Firms here.

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