Copyright regime

Kuvaaja konsertissa. KUVA: GorillaThe task of the Ministry of Education and Culture is to facilitate the operation of the copyright regime, which consists of economic and moral rights. Economic copyright protects the author's prospects for income, and moral copyright the honour of the author. Intellectual property rights aim to encourage innovation and creation and represent the foundation of business and gainful activities.


Copyright is an intellectual property right arisen as a result of a person’s creative activities, and it gives the author a limited exclusive right to determine certain uses of his or her work. Other intellectual property rights, for instance patent right, trademark right and industrial designs right, belong to the category of industrial property rights.

The object of copyright protection is a written, oral or artistic work that meets the threshold of being identified as a work – i.e. it is sufficiently independent and original to qualify as a work. Copyright is automatically born for the benefit of the person who has brought the work into being. In Finland, copyright is in effect during the lifetime of the author and for 70 years after the year of the death of the author.

Copyright does not require registration or a separate entry, and thus it differs from industrial property rights.

Copyright and rights related to copyright

The main principle of copyright is that a copyright protected work may only be used with the permission of the author and in the manner the author has permitted within the scope of the exclusive rights granted to the author.

On the basis of the economic rights it is possible for authors to arrange the use of their works in the manner they wish, and to obtain compensation for such use.
The moral rights of authors include, among other things, prohibition of plagiarisation, forgery, or use of their works in a derogatory manner.  Moral rights remain with the authors even when they waive their economic rights.

The rights related to copyright involve the protection of other subject matter than a work. Rights related to copyright include, for instance, rights of a performing artist, rights of a recording producer and film producer, catalogue and database protection, radio and TV companies’ rights, the right to a photograph, and news protection.