2.6.4-2 When does the term of protection of a newspaper end? When does the term of protection of an individual article in a newspaper end?


As it usually consists of several works (articles, images, etc.) which fulfil the conditions of a copyright-protected work based on the selection of the work contained therein or their special arrangement (Art. 2 Para. 1 in conjunction with Art. 4 Para. 1 CopA), a newspaper is an independently protected work (collective work Art. 4 CopA). The works contained in the newspaper are also protected irrespective of whether they in turn fulfil the requirements of Art. 2 Para. 1 CopA (Art. 4 Para. 1 CopA). Therefore, it is important to differentiate between the newspaper as a whole item and the articles and images contained therein when answering the question of the term of protection.

For the term of protection of the newspaper: The author of a collective work is mandatorily a natural person (original author Art. 6 CopA) who can certainly also transfer their rights to a publisher that usually has a legal personality. However, the term of protection of a work is principally calculated on the basis of the date of death of its original author (Art. 29 et seq. CopA). Therefore, the copyright protection of the newspaper expires 70 years after the death of the original editor. As the possible owner of rights of the newspaper, the publisher is certainly not left unprotected; it is protected by the Federal Act on Unfair Competition (UCA). Art. 5 UCA protects the newspaper publisher insofar as that the person who takes over or exploits the reproduction of a market-ready work results (= the newspaper) of another person without reasonable own expense acts unfairly and must reckon with sanctions (Art. 9 et seq. UCA).

For the protection of the individual article in the newspaper: In the case of individual articles in the newspaper, the term of protection is also measured on the basis of the date of death of the respective original author, – usually 70 years after their death (Art. 29 Para. 2 CopA) –, irrespective of whether they had transferred the rights in their work to the publisher, or not.