From now on, even your amateur snaps are protected by copyright!

01.04.2020 | Copyright, Law and policy

Whether an artistic photograph, an amateur snap, or a standard product photo – under the modernised Copyright Act (CopA) all photos are now protected, whether analogue or digital, or taken by an amateur or a professional. This applies whether the photographs have individual character or not. The extended protection for photographs is one of the main changes in the new Copyright Act. It comes into force on 1 April.


Up until now, photos had to have sufficient individual character in order to benefit from copyright protection. In the event of a dispute, the judge would decide on the exact meaning of ‘individual’. However, the extended protection for photographs puts an end to that as both professional and amateur photographers can now protect themselves against anyone taking their photos without permission. For example, to use third-party photos on a proprietary website, the permission of the photographer is now required.


The modernised Copyright Act also makes online anti-piracy measures more efficient. However, as before, consumers of copyright-infringing content will not be prosecuted. In addition, it is now easier to exploit the opportunities provided by digitalisation as, in certain cases, the author's exclusive rights of use are limited so that it is easier to access digital content. This means that, scientists, for example, can use works under certain conditions without the permission of the rights owner.


The amendment to implement the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled also comes into force together with the revised Copyright Act on 1 April 2020.