Legal notes to copyright registration in El Salvador

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Copyright registration in El Salvador. El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is a country in Central America. El Salvador was the first country to ratify the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) — negotiated by the five countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic — with the United States. El Salvador’s economy has historically been dominated by agriculture. However, recently, El Salvador has embarked on diversifying its economy by opening up trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector. 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 El Salvador.

Copyright in El Salvador

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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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

El Salvador is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1994.

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

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in El Salvador 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 El Salvador

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

  • Declaration of copyright registration in El Salvador;
  • 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 El Salvador

The Copyright law of El Salvador is legal rights to creative and artistic works under the laws of El Salvador. It was implemented in Decree No. 604 of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador on 16 of August 1993. This law aims to protect the economic and moral rights of Salvadoran authors and foreigners residing in El Salvador, granted by the mere fact of creating works that are literary, artistic, and scientific.

The Copyright Law is ratified on Article 103 of the Constitution of El Salvador of 1983. As of 2018, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Law on Intellectual Property (as amended up to Legislative Decree No. 611 of February 15, 2017) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of El Salvador. WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database. It supersedes Legislative Decree No. 604 of 15 July 1993. WIPO also holds a copy of the 1993 law.

El Salvador has been a member of the Universal Copyright Convention since 29 March 1979, the World Trade Organization since 7 May 1995, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 6 March 2002.

You can see a list of El Salvador IP firms here.

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