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What are Copyrights?

By: Jaime Dávila Gomez, Attorney

Copyrights, are the powers that a person has over an original creation that he has made. The original creation is called the work and the person who created it, the author. In Mexico, protection of a work is subject to the fact that it is fixed in a medium material, that is to say that it has been externalized, either by pointing out some examples: by its writing if it is a literary work or the recording of the sounds of the play if it is a song.

Because of the above, works are protected since they are fixed and registration is not necessary, although it is always recommended as a conclusive proof of the authorship of the works.

The rights that are born in favor of an author for the creation of a work are two types: those of personal character, called moral and those of economic character, called patrimonial.

The moral rights are mainly the following: the right to be recognized as the author of the work, the right to disclose the work or keep it unpublished, the right to demand respect for the work and the right to withdraw it from commerce for any reason. These rights are perpetual.

Patrimonial rights, in contrast, have to do with the exploitation that the author of the work does or to whom he authorizes, relating these rights with the reproduction of the work (making copies), public communication (making it known by any means), the importation (entering copies into a country) and with the transformation of the work (creation of adaptations). The author can exercise all the economic rights by himself, authorize others to do it and even prohibit people who don’t have permission to do so. These rights last throughout the life of the author and 100 years after his death.

The importance of knowing and respecting copyrights has become evident in recent years, in which large industries (videogames and mobile applications) have succeeded by using only intangible goods as raw material, such as copyrights.

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