The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia states: “The rights of an author in respect of his or her work are inalienable. The national government protects authors’ rights.”
Supervising the enforcement of copyright legislation is under the Ministry of Justice.
The Copyright Act (1992) grants authors with protection for their intellectual creations. Copyright protection in Estonia also enables authors to benefit from moral and economic rights. Moral rights cannot be transferred, while the economic rights can be transferred or licensed with fee or without. Copyrights in Estonia are protected for the author’s lifetime plus seventy years after his or her passing. The Copyright Act creates a legal framework and conditions for authors as well as neighbouring rights: performers, producers of phonograms, broadcasting service providers, producers of first fixations of films and makers of databases. The legislation is harmonised with the EU directives.
Estonia has joined the following conventions: The Berne Convention (1994), The Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (1999) and The International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (1999). Estonia is also member of WIPO Copyright Treaty (2010), WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (2010), Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (2000) and European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (1997).