Copyright and Related Rights

According to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus such categories of works as literature, science and art, which are the result of creative activity, as well as the way they are expressed, are  protected under a copyright law.

The author of a work is a natural person who has created the work.

Copyright protection arises by virtue of the fact of its creation. Acquisition and exercise of copyright do not require any formalities.

Copyright protection covers both published and unpublished works that are existed in any objective form:

  • written (manuscript, typewritten text, musical score, etc.);
  • oral (public recitation, public performance, etc.);
  • sound or visual recording (mechanical, magnetic, digital, optical, etc.);
  • figurative (drawing, sketch, painting, map, plan, diagram, still from a cinematographic, television or video film, photograph, etc.);
  • three-dimensional (sculpture, model, mockup, structure, etc.);
  • electronic, including digital;
  • other forms.

Protection of a work on the territory of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with international treaties of the Republic of Belarus, the author of copyright to the work is determined by the law of the state in which territory the legal fact serving as the basis for the acquisition of copyright took place.

Copyright protection for computer programs extends to all kinds of computer programs (including operating systems), which may be expressed in any language and form, including the source text and object code. 

Databases are protected as complied works.

Copyright protection does not extend to any ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, discoveries, or facts.

Moral rights for literary, scientific and artistic works are protected without limitation in time. The exclusive right in a work lasts for the life of the author and 50 years after his death. The period of the exclusive right starts as from January 1 of the year following the year when the legal fact serving as the basis for the beginning of the respective period took place. After the expiration of the period of exclusive copyright protection, the work falls in the public domain.

Relationship between copyright and trademarks. According to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus no indications may be registered as trademarks if they are identical to titles of scientific, literary or artistic works known in the Republic of Belarus or names of persons, or quotations from such works, from artistic works or from parts of works, without the consent of the copyright owner whose rights in the respective work arose on a date prior to the filing date of the application for trademark registration.

Related rights extend to performances, phonograms, transmissions of broadcasting or cable broadcasting. Performances include performances presented by performing actors and conductors, performances of plays created by theatre directors, etc. Acquisition and exercise of related rights does not require any formalities.