The author of a work has a legal right to be mentioned as the author and to decide on the use of their work. In Finland, copyright remains valid for the duration of the author’s life and 70 years from the end of the year of their death.

Authorship belongs to the author

An author is a person who has created a work, such as a book, article, video, photograph, composition or poem, for instance. A copyright holder may be the original author of the work or someone to whom the author has either partially or entirely transferred their copyright. If a work has several authors, copyright is shared by all of them.

Usage right or licence agreements are usually used for agreeing upon a specific usage right of a work, such as the right to publish a photograph on a website. The licence recipient does not become a copyright holder.

More information can be found on the Kopiosto and Kopiraittila Academy websites, for example.

Respecting copyright

The basis of copyright is the author’s right to decide on the use of their work, such as the copying and public performance of the work or a part of it. The Copyright Act allows making a few copies of works made public for private use and quoting them in accordance with proper usage. No one has the right to alter a work without the author’s permission.

Copyright does not apply to the content of the work, such as information, idea, plot, principle, methods or concepts. These we can freely use.

Copyright organisations grant licences

For certain uses, you can acquire a licence from a copyright organisation. Authors and copyright holders have authorised the organisation to grant licences to use their works on their behalf. The image and text content of websites can be copied for teaching and the internal use of companies and organisations with the copying licence acquired from Kopiosto.