2.6 How long is a work protected?

The Copyright Act only protects works for a limited period. Protection principally expires 70 years from the date that the author died (or 50 years in the case of computer programs and 50 years after production for photographs lacking of individual character) (Art. 29 CopA). The protection is limited, similar to the limitation on the exclusive right of the author, because the general public should be able to use works under certain conditions. In other words, as a “special limiting provision”, there should be no perpetual protection on works so that they can be in the public domain and thus available for any use after the corresponding period has expired. Further justification for this lies in the fact that the close relationship between the authorship and their work, which is protected by the Copyright Act, becomes increasingly looser over time until it quasi dissipates.

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