How are Copyright and Neighbouring rights protected in the Principality of Andorra?

Jonathan-Hinkson-2-150x150How are Copyright and Neighbouring rights protected in the Principality of Andorra?

Jonathan Hinkson, Lawyer, within Intellectual Property Department of Augé Grup answers:

We have recently written on the protection of Industrial Property (patents and trademarks) in Andorra. This post aims at providing basic information on Copyright and Neighbouring rights in Andorra.

Andorra has emphasized on the importance of Culture (in the broad meaning of the term), which has generated successful synergies in the Art world. Aside from the top-notch artists that regularly perform in Andorra, and the feature films that are being shot in the Principality, the MUSEU CARMEN THYSSEN ANDORRA has recently been inaugurated in the Principality.

These examples have been possible in particular due to the fully harmonized legal protection of Copyright and Neighbouring rights in Andorra.

Indeed, Andorra has signed and ratified the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, which strengthens and reinforces the development of numerous initiatives in the area of Art in our country.

The Andorran Law on Copyright and Neighbouring rights (Llei sobre drets d’autor I drets veins – was adopted on 10 June 199 and entered into force on 8 July 1999.

This Law (hereafter “the Law”) provides protection for Copyright (Chapter II) and for Neighbouring rights (Chapter III).

  • With respect to Copyright, the Law defines literary and artistic works (i.e the subject-matter of protection by Copyright) as: “computer programs, audiovisual works, works photographic works of architecture and works applied arts, provided they are original productions the literary or artistic domain”. Derivative works are also protected such as original translations, adaptations, arrangements and other transformations and compilations of works and collections of mere data (databases).

The author of a literary or artistic work benefits from economic and moral rights over their works by the mere act of creation (i.e no registration is required for the acquisition of said rights).

Said economic and moral rights are granted and remain in force for the life of the author plus 70 years after his death (with some specificities exist for works of joint authorship, collective works; audiovisual works, works published anonymously or under a pseudonym; cases where the author is considered as a legal entity; or cases of works published in volumes).

The Law sets down the exceptions to the economic rights of the author such as “private reproduction for personal purposes, quotes, reproductions for teaching purposes by libraries and archives, for information purposes, adaptations of computer programs or their “decompilation”, use of databases, distributions after the first sale or certain exhibitions”.

The original owner of the economic and moral rights is the author who created the work, with specificities in the case of collective works, work created by an employee in the execution of their labour function and for audiovisual work.

  • With respect to Neighboring rights, the Performers, Phonographic producers, Broadcasting organizations possess economic and moral rights on their performance, productions and broadcast emissions. The time frame of protection is of period of 50 years; there are specificities for publishers of previously unpublished works (the period of protection is of 25 years).

The Law provides exceptions to the above mentioned economic and moral rights that are similar to those regarding for literary or artistic works mentioned above.

To conclude, said Law also provides the legal frame regarding infringement proceedings, a legal tool at hand for the right holders.

In view of what has been said, Andorra is now a country of major relevance for the acquisition, defense and optimization of Copyright and Neighbouring rights.


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