What is Copyright?

Copyright gives the creator of an original work the exclusive right to publish or reproduce this work. 

In article 1 of the Dutch Copyright Act copyright is defined as follows: Copyright is the exclusive right of a creator of a work of literature, science or art, or of his/her successor in title, to publish or reproduce this work, subject to the restrictions laid down by law. 

The basic premise of the Copyright Act is:

  • to protect the work of a creator, so that he/she may convert his/her efforts into cash; and
  • to support the freedom and exchange of information.

The aim of the Copyright Act is to establish an optimal balance between the rights of the creator or author, and the freedom of information.
Article 1 of the Dutch Copyright Act specifies that copyright is the exclusive right of a creator of a work of literature, science or art, to publish or reproduce this work.

Copyright comes into being the moment a piece of work is created. A copyright notice © is therefore not necessary. A work comes into being the moment it is created. So, there is a creator and a work. Both entities are inextricably bound with each other: no creator without a work, no work without a creator.

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