Norway follows the continental European droit d’auteur tradition in the general approach to copyright legislation. In addition, there is close cooperation between the five Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway) on copyright issues. There have been no recent debates about moral rights, although there is a general public awareness that the rights holders should be credited when their works are used.
There are no provisions in the Copyright Act explicitly covering the concept of “fair use” since Norway follows the droit d’auteur tradition. However, the system allows for exceptions to the authors’ rights (see Article 9 of the Berne Convention). Such provisions include inter alia the use of works for educational purposes, use for the disabled, copying by libraries, quotations of works as well as private copying.
Secondary rights holders – i.e. rights holders who are not themselves authors of a work but have acquired rights from the original author – do not necessarily have the same rights as the original author. The rights of the secondary rights holder will depend on the content of the agreement entered into by the original author and the secondary rights holder. One example of this is that if an author has sold the right of reproduction of a work to be published in the form of a novel this does not include other forms of publication, such as in newspapers or journals, unless this is specified in the agreement.
Broadcasters can use copyrighted works in their broadcasts on the condition that they fulfil the terms of an extended collective licence, cf. section 30 of the Copyright Act (1961). According to this provision, the broadcaster must have an agreement with an organisation representing the rights holders.
In 2005 the EEA (EU) Copyright Directive (2001/20/EC) was implemented in the Copyrigh act. There are now provisions in the Copyright Act concerning the protection of technological measures and rights-management information. Several provisions have also been revised to include digital reproduction. As regards other technological developments, the wording of the Norwegian copyright legislation has been kept “technologically neutral” so that rapid technological changes do not necessitate many actual changes to the Copyright Act.
In 2013, the possibility for right holders to register personal information on people suspected of violating copyright protected material was implemented in the Copyright Act.