What is copyright?

Copyright is a collection of personal and proprietary rights owned by the author. It's a constitutional right. Authors have the inalienable right to their creative works. The state shall protect the rights of authors. (Constitution of the Republic of Estonia § 39)

How does copyright arise?

Copyright arises when literary, artistic and scientific are created (Copyright Act § 1 (2) 1). The creation and exercise of copyright does not require registration, deposit or other formalities of the work.

What is not protected by copyright?

According to § 5 of the Copyright Act, copyright protection does not apply to:

  • ideas, images, notions, theories, processes, systems, methods, concepts, principles, discoveries, inventions, and other results of intellectual activities which are described, explained or expressed in any other manner in a work;
  • works of folklore;
  • legislation and administrative documents (acts, decrees, regulations, statutes, instructions, directives) and official translations thereof;
  • court decisions and official translations thereof;
  • official symbols of the state and insignia of organisations (flags, coats of arms, orders, medals, badges, etc.);
  • news of the day;
  • facts and data;
  • ideas and principles which underlie any element of a computer program, including those which underlie its user interfaces.

Duration of copyright

In general, the term of protection of copyright shall be the life of the author and seventy years after his or her death. The term of protection of copyright in a work created jointly shall be the life of the last surviving author and seventy years after his or her death.

In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection of copyright shall run for seventy years after the work is lawfully made available to the public. If the author of the work discloses his identity during the above-mentioned period or leaves no doubt as to the connection between the authorship of the work and the person who created the work, the work will be protected within the general term.

The term of protection of copyright in a collective work or work created in the execution of duties shall run for seventy years after the work is lawfully made available to the public.

The term begins on the first of January of the year following the year of the death of the author or of the year following the year when the work was lawfully made available to the public or of the year following the year of creation of the work.

The authorship of a certain work, the name of the author and the honour and reputation of the author shall be protected without a term.

The use of the title (name) of a work by another author for a similar work when the term of protection of copyright has expired is not permitted if such use may result in identification of authors which would mislead the public.

Works whose term of protection of copyright has expired may be freely used by all persons pursuant to the provisions of the Copyright Act and the Heritage Conservation Act.

(Copyright Act, Chapter VI)

  • Jaga

Last updated: 01.02.2022