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Register of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works

Statutory framework:

Copyright of a work generally expires 70 years after the author's death (Sec. 64 Copyright Act [Urheberrechtsgesetz]). If the real name of the author is unknown, the date of death of the author cannot be ascertained for determining the beginning of the term of protection. That is why the term of protection is reduced for authors whose works were published anonymously or under a pseudonym (i.e. assumed name); it expires 70 years after publication.

If the real name of the author is submitted for registration in the Register of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works, the term of copyright protection is calculated similarly to that applicable to the works which were not published anonymously or under a pseudonym. Thus the registration ensures the maximum term of copyright protection.

Note: Copyright protection arises by virtue of law immediately upon the creation of a work. Therefore, the registration in the Register of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works does not establish copyright protection of a work.
The Register is kept at the DPMA so that the standard term of protection, pursuant to Section 64 Copyright Act, will apply to works published anonymously or under a pseudonym. It is only a paper-based register and can be inspected at the DPMA.

Last updated: 21/02/18 

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