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Denmark/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.8 Other areas of culture specific legislation


In Denmark, protection of copyright lies in the field of cultural policy, and the Copyright Act is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture. The Act specifies and defines the mutual rights and obligations of the author, producer and user (see chapter 5.1.7).

Examples of protected works are literature, music, theatre, film, visual arts – including photography, architecture, the decorative arts and computer programmes. It is the expression of the work which is protected – that is to say, the work's singular design or presentation. Protection does not extend to ideas, concepts, procedures, methods or algorithms.

Copyright applies from the moment of creation of the work. Thus, protection does not depend on any kind of registration. The copyright runs for 70 years following the death of the copyright holder.

Infringement of copyright may incur civil liability and criminal liability in the form of fines or imprisonment.

In October 2006, the Ministry of Culture set up a working group on digitisation of cultural heritage. The group delivered the report on The Digitalisation of the Cultural Heritage in 2009 (see chapter 5.1.7).

EU - Agreement on the digitisation of European cultural heritage in place

Books and magazines that are no longer printed and published now have the opportunity to get a "second life". This is considered an important contribution to ensuring Europe's cultural heritage in the future. The agreement focuses to ensure that digitisation is carried out based on voluntary agreements and suggests that the collective management organisations will be included as a party and be a part of the solution. It is Europe's libraries, publishers, authors, government organisations and the EU Commission, who have just signed a letter of intent, which should make it easier to ensure clearance of rights for mass digitisation of books and magazines that are no longer published.

Related rights

Provisions aimed at protecting performing artists  musicians, dancers, etc), audio producers (record companies), film producers, radio and TV companies, photographers and producers of catalogues, tables, databases etc are also covered by the Copyright Act.

The term of protection for these rights is 50 years from the time of production. The term of protection for databases etc, however, only runs for 15 years from production or publication. Registration is no prerequisite for protection.

Chapter published: 10-04-2012

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