Legal notes to copyright registration in Colombia

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Copyright registration in Colombia. Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country spanning South America and an insular region in North America. Colombia is one of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries and has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Its territory encompasses the Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, and it is the only country in South America with coastlines and islands along both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Colombia is a member of major global and regional organizations including the United Nations, the WTO, the OECD, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community, and a NATO Global Partner. Its diversified economy is the third-largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects. 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 Colombia.

Copyright in Colombia

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.

The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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 Colombia

Colombia is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1988.

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 Colombia is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Colombia will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from Colombia 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 Colombian ethnicity.

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in Colombia 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 creation gets a date and a time stamp recorded, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative 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 significant big amount of money and time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.

If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.

Documents for copyright registration in Colombia

To obtain copyright registration in Colombia, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Colombia;
  • 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).

The copyright law of Colombia

The Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Panama was included in Gran Colombia in 1821, and seceded as an independent nation in 1903.

Colombia has been a member of the Universal Copyright Convention since 18 June 1976, the Berne Convention since 7 March 1988, the World Trade Organization since 30 April 1995, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 6 March 2002.

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 23 of January 28, 1982, on Copyright as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Colombia. WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database. The copyright law of Colombia has been modified by:

  • Law No. 719 of December 24, 2001
  • Law No. 1403 of July 19, 2010
  • Law No. 1450 of June 16, 2011
  • Law No. 1835 of June 9, 2017
  • Law No. 1915 of July 12, 2018

Please find a list of IP Firm In Colombia here.


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