The libraries shall guarantee all citizens equal, reliable and neutral access to the information they need for education and personal development. In order to facilitate this, as few restrictions as possible are to prefer.
The purpose of the copyright law is to balance the author’s need for protection against the user’s need for access. The copyright law functions because an adequate copyright protection is combined with reasonable exceptions and limitations for the good of the public (bene commune). Lately however, the desirable balance has been tilted in favour of the holders of the economic rights, the result being an increased monopolisation of information.
Having a copyright for a specific work means that all rights are reserved to the holder to decide on the usage of the work. Copyright protection becomes valid when a work meets so called minimum standards of originality. The work must in some way be unique, feature a certain amount of independence and originality. The protection does not include ideas, the state of things, information or facts, but it does include photos, drawings and maps that are part of a text.
The protection is automatically valid – no registration is needed – and is, according to the principal rule, valid throughout the originator’s life time + 70 years.
At the beginning, the copyright is always ascribed to a natural person. This person has two types of rights, economic and moral rights. Economic rights include the right to produce copies of the work in any form, and also to make the work available to the public for example by spreading it. Moral rights include the right to have your name mentioned when the work is used, as well as the right to oppose usage that violates the artistic reputation.
The copyright holder can choose to fully or partially assign or grant the economic rights to others. Assignment means that the owner completely disclaims his or her rights and transfers the economic rights to someone else. Granting user rights, means that you give somebody else the right to use the whole work or parts of the work in certain ways, for example to produce a certain amount of copies of the work and publish it as a book or article in paper copy or on the Internet.
Granting is often intended for a certain time period, after which the right returns to the author. If the grating of user rights does not give the recipient sole rights, the author can grant it to others too.
The moral rights cannot be granted or assigned to someone else, only disclaimed. The disclaiming of moral rights should only be done in exceptional cases.
There are limitations to the sole right of the author. These limitations imply, among other things, that others can make copies for their own use, refer to or cite public works, without the consent of the author. The Copyright Law 1960:729, regarding copyright for literary and artistic work, in Swedish called upphovsrättslagen (URL), regulates the author’s rights as well as the limitations and exceptions that the copyright can be subjected to. 2005-07-01, the URL was modified (SFS 2005:359), due to an EU directive 2001/29/EG from 2001-05-22, regarding the harmonisation of copyright and other similar rights.
Last updated: August 4, 2010
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