Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights
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Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights

Jørgen Blomqvist

The international law on copyright and related rights is comprehensive and complex, spanning over a large number of different treaties which have been compiled and amended over more than 125 years. This book gives a concise, but comprehensive introduction to the rules and their rationales. Its rights-oriented approach makes it equally valuable to the student and the practitioner who needs both an introduction to and overview over the international law in the field. The book explains all treaties relevant today, from the 1886 Berne Convention to the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty of 2013.
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Chapter 13: Translation and adaptation rights

Jørgen Blomqvist


The protection of literary and artistic works under Article 9(1) of the Berne Convention covers, as earlier mentioned, reproduction 'in any manner or form' and this wording could perhaps be understood as granting protection against the use of the work not solely in its original form but also in a changed form. This, however, does not seem to be the general opinion today. That can be deduced from the use of the same wording in treaties on the protection of related rights where adaptation rights were clearly not intended. Furthermore the Berne Convention contains a clear lex specialis in Article 12 according to which '[a]uthors of literary or artistic works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing adaptations, arrangements and other alterations of their works'. In addition Article 8 provides that '[a]uthors of literary and artistic works […] shall enjoy the exclusive right of making and of authorizing the translation of their works throughout the term of protection of their rights in the original works'. Finally Article 14(1) provides that '[a]uthors of literary or artistic works shall have the exclusive right of authorizing […] the cinematographic adaptation and reproduction of these works […]. Paragraph (2) adds to this that '[t]he adaptation into any other artistic form of a cinematographic production derived from literary or artistic works shall, without prejudice to the authorization of the author of the cinematographic production, remain subject to the authorization of the authors of the original works'. This multitude of partly overlapping provisions reflects the development of the Convention.

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