Rights conferred by the copyright

Rights conferred by the copyright

Moral rights and economic rights

The authors's rights are composed of the entirety of the so-called moral rights and the so-called economic rights. According to the moral rights [C.A., Chapter Two, Art. 10-15], it shall be the author's exclusive right to disclose the work, to withdraw it from the public, to have his name indicated on the work and to prevent any distortion, mutilation or any other modification of the work, which would be prejudicial to the author's honour or reputation.

According to the economic rights [C.A., Chapter Three, Art. 16-31], it is exclusively the author who can give authorisation for the use of the work in ways defined by the Act, i.e. for its reproduction, its distribution, its public performance, its communication to the public by broadcasting or in any other manner, its retransmission, its alteration and its exhibition. The content and the conditions of such forms of use are defined by the Act. The author is entitled to remuneration for the use of the work and he can waive it only by an express statement to that end; in certain cases the law may exclude the right to waive the remuneration.

A special element of the economic rights is the so-called reprographic remuneration [C.A. Art. 21-22], which is due to the author whose works can be reproduced by photocopying or in like manner on paper or on like carrier, i.e. by reprography. Companies producing, importing reprographic devices or operating reprographic devices for a consideration are obliged to pay the remuneration to the rightholders. The list of the devices used for reprography is defined by a special decree of the Government [Government Decree No. 158/2000. (IX. 13.) on the Determination of the Range of Devices used for the Purposes of Reprography] and the extent of the remuneration shall be determined by the Hungarian Alliance of Reprographic Rights.

Term of copyright protection

As a fundamental rule, the author's rights enjoy protection in the author's lifetime and for 70 years counted from his death. After the death of the author, the rights may be exercised by the inheritors of the author. In the case of works created by joint authors, in the case of cinematographic creations and when the author cannot be identified, the term of protection shall be counted in a special manner (see C.A. Art. 31).

Limitations of copyright: cases of free use

In certain cases the law makes it possible to use the author's works without the author's authorisation or the payment of remuneration. The use of this kind is called by the law "free use" [C.A., Chapter Four, Art. 33-41]; free use is for example the citation, the use for private purpose or the use in schools for tuition. Free use is allowed only in the case of works which were already published and only to the extent when it does not prejudice the normal use of the work, does not prejudice unduly the legitimate interests of the author and meets the requirements of fairness and does not focus on purposes incompatible with those of the free use. The Act generally specifies further conditions of the free use (e.g. the indication of the author's name, the exclusion of making a profit through the use).

Licence agreements

On the basis of a licence agreement, the author may authorise - for a consideration - the use of his work. The legal provisions concerning licence agreements are contained in the Copyright Act [C.A., Chapter Five, Art. 42-57]. The Act regulates publishing agreements and licence agreements concerning software and cinematographic creations as special types of agreements. Besides copyright provisions, the provisions of the Civil Code relating to agreements [Law No. IV. of 1959. Art. 198-364] shall also be applied to licence agreements.