Legal notes to copyright registration in Netherlands

Legal notes to copyright registration in Netherlands

Copyright registration in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. The Netherlands allowed women’s suffrage in 1919, before becoming the world’s first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indices of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness. In 2020, it ranked eighth on the human development index and fifth on the 2021 World Happiness Index. 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 the Netherlands.

Copyright in Netherlands

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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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, the creator should still apply for copyright registration in Netherlands early 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 made a copyright registration in Netherlands 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 in Netherlands immediately to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in Netherlands

Netherlands is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1912.

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 Netherlands is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Netherlands will be given copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries.

In most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form. However, the copyright registration in Netherlands is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when the works are automatically protected according to copyright law.

When registering, the work will get an application submission date, 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 big amount of money as well as time needed to resolve issues related to copyright, proving 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 Netherlands

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

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Netherlands;
  • 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 Netherlands

Copyright in the Netherlands is governed by the Dutch Copyright Law (called Auteurswet), copyright (auteursrecht in Dutch) is the exclusive right of the author of a work of literature or artistic work to publish and copy such work.

Copyright laws differ between countries. In Netherlands respectively, there are several international treaties concerning copyright that harmonise copyright to a certain extent, including:

  • The Berne Convention, 1886
  • The Universal Copyright Convention, 1952
  • The WIPO Copyright Treaty, 1996
  • The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, 1996
  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) (which manages the rights concerning trade in intellectual property)

Since the Netherlands is a member state of the European Union, all directives and regulations of the European Union apply in the Netherlands. As such, copyright in the Netherlands has some specific features over the Copyright law of the European Union.

You can see a list of the Netherlands IP Firms here.

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