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Until death do us part: stopping copyright transfer


Michiel Rijsdijk

The Dutch copyright act is heading for a major change if the Dutch government’s recent proposal for copyright contract law gains public support.

The government proposes making it impossible for the natural creator of a work in the Netherlands to transfer its copyright.

What is going on? With the growing possibilities for exploiting a work (e.g. through the Internet), the position of natural authors in negotiations has weakened against whoever administers their work. Therefore, the Dutch government wants to create a stronger position for natural creators. To strengthen their position, the proposal prevents a natural author transferring his work.

This is significantly different to the current situation, which allows the author to transfer all or part of his copyright or give it in licence to another. According to the proposal, a natural author can only give all or part of his copyright in licence. It is only after the death of an author that copyright can be transferred.

Copyright transfer, Dutch copyright act


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