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In September 2014 an application to amend the Copyright Act was submitted to the Liechtenstein Parliament relating to digitisation and publication of orphan works on the Internet.

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Liechtenstein/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

As a consequence of the EEA Agreement and the agreement on Trade Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Liechtenstein committed to the implementation of rules under the agreements pertaining to intellectual property. The provisions were incorporated into the Law on Copyrights and Related Intellectual Property Rights as well as a 1999 Ordinance. They govern the protection of originators of literary works or artworks, protection of practicing artists, directors, and producers of audio and audiovisual media, broadcasters and the activities of collecting societies as well as their supervision. The following applies: A work is copyrighted from the point of completion, independent of whether it has been medially recorded or not. The copyright lapses 70 years after the death of the originator.

The Act creates the basis for awarding concessions having national supply responsibility for the collective realisation of copyrights. In a June 2007 call for proposals, the government once again awarded corresponding concessions to the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Original Works SUISA, ProLitteris, SUISSIMAGE and SWISSPERFORM. All collecting societies active in Liechtenstein are obligated to name a domestic summonable address. In cases where public institutions permit the use of literature and art, for example teachers, businesses, institutions, commissions, public administrations, libraries and copy centres, fees must be paid to the originator.

With the goal of promoting Europe as a centre of creativity and innovation, the European Parliament and Council adopted a directive on copyright in October 2012.  The Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works creates a uniform legal framework for the digitisation and publication of orphan works on the Internet. Orphan works are works such as books, newspaper and magazine articles as well as films that are still protected by copyright, but whose authors are unknown or cannot be found or contacted for the purpose of obtaining copyright authorisation. Numerous collections of European libraries contain orphan works. Without a uniform legal framework, these works could often not be digitised or made available on the Internet. In September 2014, the Liechtenstein government submitted the application to amend the Copyright Act to the Liechtenstein Parliament.

Chapter published: 12-11-2014

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