Copyright registration in Ecuador. Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America. Ecuador is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world. This country hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights. 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 Ecuador.
Copyright in Ecuador
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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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 Ecuador
Ecuador is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1991.
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 Ecuador is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Ecuador will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from Ecuador 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 Ecuador ethnicity.
While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in Ecuador 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 Ecuador
To obtain copyright registration in Ecuador, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:
- Declaration of copyright registration in Ecuador;
- 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 Ecuador
The main source of law in Ecuador is the Constitution, latest amendment was in October 2008. This law prevails over all other laws, statutes, and international.
Ecuador is a party to several international copyright law treaties besides the Berne Convention such as:
- Universal Copyright Convention (Geneva) in 1957.
- WIPO Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations 1961.
- Universal Copyright Convention (Paris) in 1991.
- WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994.
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in 1996.
- WIPO Copyright Treaty in 2002.
You can see a list of Ecuador IP firms here.