Copyright relates to works of science, literature and art which are results of creative activity regardless of purpose and dignity of work, as well as method of its expression. Computer programs also belong to works of creative activity and are objects of copyright.

These works become objects of copyright from the moment of expression in an objective form and immediately from this moment arises author’s exclusive right to the created object (property right to use creation in any way at his/her discretion during the period prescribed by legislation). There is no need in state registration of origination of exclusive right to the object of copyright however it is recommended to do so in order to protect exclusive rights in court.

Official documents (laws, court decisions, and translations thereof), state symbols and insignia, works of folk art, reports on events of informational nature cannot be objects of copyright.

The initial subjects of copyright are the authors whose work results in such a creation.

The entire scope of author’s rights can be divided into two blocks: property and non-property rights.

Property rights regulate and structure the list of methods to use works. The ways are provided for and stipulated in appropriate legislative acts. The list of ways is not exhaustive and is updated as science and technology develop. Property rights include, for example, the right of reproduction, the right of distribution, the right to broadcast and cable, the right of processing and etc.

The author also owns the following non-property rights:

  • to be recognized as an author of work;
  • to indicate and demand indication instead of an original name of an author, his fictitious name (pseudonym) or refuse to indicate name on copies of work and during any public use of it;
  • to resist any distortion, modification or other change in work;
  • to open access to work to an indefinite number of persons. Personal non-property rights are inalienable rights of an author in comparison to property rights which can be freely transferred to other persons.

Non-property rights are protected perpetually and property rights to works are valid throughout the life of author and 70 years after his death. The expiration of a property right means transfer of work to public domain. A work that has passed into public domain can be freely used by any person without paying an author’s fee, however right of authorship, right to a name and right to protection of author’s reputation should be observed.

Transfer of property rights to objects of copyright is carried out on the grounds of civil law agreements, which are called copyright agreements. The law identifies the following types of copyright agreements: an agreement on complete assignment of copyright, an agreement on partial assignment of copyright, transfer of rights on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis. The scope of transferred rights depends on the type of agreement.

Property rights may also be transferred on the grounds of employment agreement (legislation of Kazakhstan envisages the institute of official works), an order agreement or by way of inheritance and succession.

Kazakhstan joined international system for protection of works through participation in conventions named Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886 and Universal Copyright Convention of 1952. Works published for the first time in a country participating in a convention or authors of works permanently residing in a country participating in a convention are granted national regime in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Related rights are closely connected to copyright, the latter arise in connection with use of objects of copyright. The objects of related rights are phonograms, performances, transmissions of over-the-air and cable broadcasting organizations (a set of audio and visual signals sent on the air or transmitted via cable using technical means). There is no need to register related rights in order to enjoy and to exercise such rights.

The subjects of related rights are performers, phonogram producers, broadcasting and cablecasting organizations.

Right holder of objects of related rights owns property rights, and in respect of performances performers also enjoy personal non-property rights.

Property rights to objects of related rights can also be transferred on the grounds of an agreement on full or partial assignment of rights or agreement on transfer of exclusive rights or non-exclusive rights (the last two agreements are called licensing).

Property rights to the objects of related rights are valid for 70 years from the moment of first performance (for performances), after first publication (for phonograms), after first broadcast or broadcast by cable (broadcasting and cable broadcasting organizations). The personal non-property rights of performer are protected perpetually.

Expiration of term of related rights to performances, staging, phonograms, broadcasting and cable broadcasting means their transfer to public domain.

The Republic of Kazakhstan ratified the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (hereinafter - the “WIPO Treaty”). The WIPO Treaty envisages for contracting parties protection of performers and phonogram producers who are citizens of other countries of the WIPO Treaty to the same extent as their own citizens in terms of exclusive rights and the right to remuneration.

As mentioned above, registration of rights to objects of copyright and related rights is not necessary procedure, however, such registration is highly recommended. The certificate of copyright and related rights registration confirms the following:

  • the registered and deposited object is subject to copyright or related rights;
  • the object of copyright or related rights created no later than the date specified in the certificate;
  • the object is deposited with the authorized body for registration of objects of copyright and related rights, which is the Committee, and, if necessary, can be compared with the object to be opposed;
  • The rights to the object of copyright or related rights belong to the person/persons indicated in the certificate.

Certificate of registration of rights to objects of copyright and related rights enhances the chances when protecting rights and challenging violators rights. In addition, such registration plays an important role in the evaluation of object of copyright or related rights, since it allows to individualize the object being evaluated, establishing its completeness. The evaluation of copyright is necessary in the case of the commercial use of objects of copyright and related rights.

Commercial use of objects of copyright and related rights can be reflected not only in the paid transfer of property rights, the right holder can use objects of copyright and related rights as follows:

  • as security for initial issuance and re-issuance of shares;
  • as a contribution to the authorized capital of company which significantly increases the size of the authorized capital;

We offer following services in the field of copyright and related rights:

  • Drafting and filing of application to register object of copyright and related rights, verification and forwarding certificate of registration to an applicant;
  • Legal assistance in preparation of copyright agreements and agreements related to transfer of property rights to objects of related rights;
  • Legal advice on protection of copyright and related rights;
  • Drafting of memorandums, legal opinions in the field of protection of copyright and related rights;
  • Representation of clients in protecting rights to copyright and related rights.

Saule Kulzhambekova

Trademarks and Copyrights

Requests relating to section Trademarks - COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS can be forwarded to e-mail address: marked for Saule Kulzhambekova.

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