2.6.3 Calculating the term of protection

The term of copyright protection is always calculated using the reference date of 31 December of the year of death of the author (Art. 32 CopA), irrespective of the day on which the author died.


2.6.3-1 Gottfried Keller died on 15 July 1890. How is the term of protection of his works calculated?

As Gottfried Keller’s date of death is known, his work is protected for up to 70 years after his death (Art. 29 Para. 2 CopA); this means his work was protected until 1960. As the term of protection does not take the exact day of the death of the author as its point of reference, but rather the effective date of 31 December of the year of their death (Art. 32 CopA), namely 31 December 1890 in the case of Gottfried Keller, his work was protected until 31 December 1960. Therefore, Keller’s work has been in the public domain since 1 January 1961.