Related Rights

Related rights cover works not sufficiently original for copyright protection on the one hand, and on the other they protect artistic and organisational activities. Protection is thus weaker. Copyrights and related rights are independent of one another and may exist in parallel. The essential differences are the shorter term of protection – it is only 50 years from publication (or from recording if there is no publication) – and that there is a possibility to transfer or sell related rights completely in certain cases. For performing artists and producers of audio recordings the term of protection applicable as of the Amendment 2013 is 70 years from the initial release or public communication (broadcast, public performance or interactive making available to the public) of the audio recording. If there is no publication, the term of protection is 50 years.


A composer writes a song for a pop singer. The copyright accrues to the composer. If the pop singer has her vocal performance of the song recorded in the audio studio, a related right in the recording accrues to her.

Performing artists

Performing artists are those who perform the works (actors, singers, musicians, ...), but the term also covers stage directors, choir masters and other artistic contributors.

The exploitation rights are the rights of fixing (recording), reproduction and distribution and the right of interactive communication. Artists only hold a right to broadcast if the film or audio recording has not been produced lawfully. Otherwise the right to broadcast is allotted to the producer. However, performing artists are entitled to remuneration.

Remuneration claims can only be made through a collecting society.


Recitation and performances given within an event may be recorded on video or audio media only with the consent of the promoter.

Producers of audio recordings

The producer or the recording engineer of a musical recording have a related right similar to that of the performing artist. With commercially produced audio recordings, the right accrues only to the owner of the business enterprise that causes or makes the recording and bears the commercial risk.

Producers of audio recordings have a right of reproduction and distribution. They are only entitled to a remuneration based on the right to broadcast if the broadcast is effected by use of an audio recording which was acquired lawfully.

Generally, producers of audio recordings are the holders of remuneration claims. Performing artists involved in the production do not have a direct entitlement to remuneration but only a claim against the producer of the audio recording to a share in the remuneration.

The related rights of producers of audio recordings are alienable and transferable.

Radio and television broadcasters

Radio and television broadcasting business owners or enterprises also have a related right to the sounds and pictures broadcast by the enterprise (signal protection). The right of radio and television broadcasting businesses owners is also freely transferable.

Protection of photographs and motion pictures (photos and films)

For films or photos not sufficiently original to enjoy copyright protection, the person shooting the pictures has at least the related right to the pictures.

In the case of pictures produced commercially the rights are held again by the business enterprise, and otherwise by the person who shot the picture.

The individual exploitation rights are similar to copyright, however, direct copies of photographs made with a copying machine do not fall within the free use of works.

For commissioned works both the ordering party and the person portrayed may make copies, even against consideration.

The related rights are transferable.