The Act on Collective Management of Copyright regulates the activities of collective management organisations, or copyright organisations. The law is based on an EU directive, so the same regulation applies to all copyright organisations operating in EU member countries.
In Finland, the law applies to seven copyright organisations: Kopiosto, Teosto, Gramex, APFI, Kuvasto, Sanasto and Filmex. The purpose of the act was to increase the openness, good management practices and transparency of copyright organisations and improve copyright holders’ authority in relation to copyright organisations. The law is implemented by publishing an annual transparency report, among other things. Kopiosto’s transparency report is available as a PDF file on the Toiminta page (in Finnish).
The Act on Collective Management of Copyright makes the collective management of copyright one of the most transparent sectors. Thanks to the internationally uniform regulation, different operators are easier to compare than before. This increases safety from the perspective of both the users and the authors of works.
The law also guarantees that people can complain about our activities. The detailed instructions for authors and copyright holders of works are given in the document ‘Korvausten jaon yleiset periaatteet’ on the page Palvelumme tekijöille ja kustantajille (in Finnish). A user of works can submit a written complaint to Kopiosto if they suspect that Kopiosto has acted against the regulations of the Act on Collective Management of Copyright. In the event of a dispute, a user of works can also resort to arbitration in certain situations regulated in Section 54 of the Copyright Act. Otherwise, a possible dispute can be resolved at the Market Court or the District Court, depending on the matter.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) acts as a supervisory body designated in the Act on Collective Management of Copyright. PRH also supervises the activities of Kopiosto.
Collective works are works created by two or more authors in cooperation, but where their individual efforts constitute independent works that can be separated from each other. Examples of collective works include books with illustrations, in which case the efforts of the writer and the illustrator are independent and separable from each other.
A work has been communicated to the public once it has been made available to the public with an authorisation.
The illegal use of copyrighted works is a copyright infringement. In such cases, the unauthorised user is liable to provide the author with a reasonable compensation. The compensation liability is valid even if the user is unaware of the unauthorised nature of use. In most cases, the minimum sum of the compensation is the price of the appropriate licence.
A work that consists of other existing works by combining them or parts of them. Composite works can be protected by copyright if they are sufficiently creative and original. The copyright of a composite work belongs to the author of the composite work. It is worthwhile noting that an authorisation from the authors of the combined works is required for the inclusion of these works or parts of them in the composite work. An authorisation from these authors is also required for making the work available to the public.
The terms of compulsory licencing are defined in the Copyright Act. Compulsory licencing refers to situations where the use of a work does not require the author’s consent, but the author must be compensated for the use of their work.
The author, publisher or performer of a work or publication. A copyright holder can be either a natural person or a legal person that holds a copyright, a related right or a right to a share of copyright remunerations based on an agreement or law concerning the utilisation of rights.
A licence system in which authors allow the use of their works under certain conditions. Icons attached to a work indicate whether the author has allowed the use of their work in its original form, modifying their work and/or commercial use of their work.
Translations, adaptations and composite works are called derivative works, or works based on an original work with modifications. The creation of derivative works requires an authorisation from the author of the original work. The rights to the derivative work belong to the author of the adaptation.
An extended collective licence refers to a rights management system as defined in the Copyright Act. An extended collective licence allows for a licence issued by an organisation that represents copyright holders to be extended to cover authors and copyright holders not represented by the organisation. According to the extended collective licence system, copyright holders, which are not members of the organisation can also receive remunerations from the organisation.
Free adaptations refer to new, independent and original works that cannot be recognised as another original work but which are inspired by one. The creation of free adaptations does not require the consent of the author of the original work.
Joint authorship refers to works created by two or more authors in cooperation, in which the individual efforts of the authors do not constitute independent works and cannot be separated from each other.
Licence refers to an authorisation by which authors grant rights to use their works under certain conditions. Authors define the conditions for the use of their works in the licence terms, such as whether the modification or copying of their work is allowed, for example.
The scope of an author’s exclusive right is reduced by the limitations of the Copyright Act. The limitations allow the use of a work in circumstances defined in the Copyright Act without the author’s authorisation.
Making a work available to the public refers to situations in which a work is made available to an audience larger than the home environment. Making a work available to the public includes communicating, presenting, performing or distributing the work.
Original work distinguishes between an author’s work that is independent and original and a “derivative work,” which is a modified work of the original work. Derivative works are e.g. composite works, translations and adaptations.
Anyone can make a limited number of copies of a work that has been made public for private use, which includes the user and their immediate family or other acquaintances. Such copies produced for private use cannot be used for other purposes. Selling them, for instance, is strictly prohibited. Producing copies of computer software and digital databases for private use is not allowed.
The term Public Domain is used to refer to works which are no longer protected by copyright and works whose copyright has been waived by the author to let the work be distributed freely.
Public performance refers to situations where a work is presented to the audience present. The scope of public performance does not include closed events at home or in a small circle of friends, for example. Public performance is an author’s exclusive economic right.
A work has been published once copies of the work are marketed or distributed to the public in another manner with the author’s consent.
Related rights protect performers and their performances, phonogram and film producers, photographers, and producers of catalogues and databases. Related rights are very much like copyrights. The main difference is in the length of term of copyright protection. Becoming protected by related rights does not require the work to fulfil the independence and originality requirement. Related rights are defined in the Copyright Act.
Reproductions of works can be produced with several different methods depending on the format of the work. Such methods include copying, recording and printing. The right of reproduction is one of the economic rights of the author that secure the author’s ability to receive income. The right of reproduction is the author’s exclusive right.
According to the Copyright Act, the right to claim authorship means that, in accordance with accepted principles of morality, the author’s name must be announced whenever copies of a work are produced or the work is made available to the public. In practice, the method of announcing the name of the author can vary depending on the format of the work.
The right to the integrity of a work is defined in the Copyright Act, and according to it, works cannot be modified in a manner that violates the integrity of the author’s literary or artistic value or originality. In addition, works cannot be made available to the public in a context or form that violates the integrity of the author.
In order to become protected by copyright, works must cross the threshold of originality by being sufficiently independent and original. Whether a work crosses the threshold of originality is always evaluated on a case by case basis.
Authors can transfer their economic rights to another party in their entirety or partially, such as their employer or publisher. The recipient can be a natural person or a legal person, such as an association. The transfer of a copyright can be either compensated, in which case the author will receive a financial compensation for the transfer, or gratuitous, in which case the author waives their economic rights without a financial compensation.