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Department of Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property
Home  /  Knowledgebase  /  FAQs  /  Copyright


What is a Copyright?

A copyright constitutes an intellectual property right that grants exclusive protection to the author of the work.

In particular, the author of a work includes the:

  • writer;
  • composer;
  • painter;
  • sketcher;
  • sculptor;
  • turner
  • engraver;
  • sound recording producer;
  • producer of the first fixation of film;
  • program broadcaster in a country;
  • owner of the material on which a photograph was taken;
  • database manufacturer.

What is Neighbouring Right?

A neighbouring right, in contrary with the copyright which protects the creator, provides protection to:

  • artistic interpreters or executors, such as:
    • actors;
    • musicians;
    • singers;
    • choristers;
    • dancers;
    • theatrical puppeteers;
    • shadow theatre artists;
    • variety show artists; or
    • circus artists.
  • phonogram producers;
  •  producers of audio-visual works;
  • television and radio organisations; and
  • publishers.

What can be protected by a Copyright?

Copyright may protect any of the following works:

  • scientific works
  • literary works, such as:
    • novels;
    • stories;
    • poetic works;
    • plays;
    • film scenarios;
    • manuals;
    • biographies;
    • essays;
    • articles;
    • encyclopaedias;
    • dictionaries;
    • memos;
    • lectures;
  • computer program;
  • artistic works, such as:
    • paintings;
    • drawings;
    • etchings;
    • lithographs;
    • woodcuts;
    • engravings and prints;
    • geographic maps
    • plans and diagrams;
    • works of sculpture;
    • photographs not comprised in a cinematograph film;
    • works of architecture in the form of buildings or models;
    • other works of artistic craftmanship;
    • woven tissues;
    • articles of applied handicraft and industrial art;
  • cinematograph film;
  • audio-visual work;
  • moving images, databases;
  • sound recordings, transmissions;
  • publications of unpublished works.

It is noted that, ideas, procedures, operation methods, principles and elements that are not expressed in some way are not protectable.

The conditions for the protection of the above works in the Republic of Cyprus are the following:

  • the work is original;
  • the work was published for the first time in the Republic of Cyprus or was erected within the territory of the Republic of Cyprus or has been incorporated in a building that is located in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus;
  • the beneficiary or any of the beneficiaries is a natural person and citizen of the European Union or a legal person which has been incorporated in the European Union.

What are the benefits of protecting your original creation?

As the copyright owner, you have the exclusive right of exploitation of the work, including any:

  • reproduction;
  • advertising;
  • sale;
  • rental;
  • distribution;
  • lending;
  • exhibiting the original or copies in public;
  • television and radio transmission;
  • broadcasting;
  • translation;
  • adaptation;
  • communication to the public;
  • prohibiting or consenting to the disposal of the work or part thereof to the public.

What are orphan works and how are they protected?

An orphan work is a work for which none the holders has been identified, or even if one of them has been identified, none can be located, notwithstanding the carrying out of a diligent search for them.

The use of orphan works is permitted, by the following organisations, for achieving goals relating to their public interest mission, provided that proper authorisation has been secured from the rights holder that have been identified and located;

  • libraries;
  • educational institutions;
  • museums;
  • archives;
  • film and audio heritage institutions; and
  • public service broadcasting organisations,

that are established in the Republic of Cyprus and are accessible to the public.

What are television and radio broadcasts,cable transmissions and how are they protected?

Television and radio broadcasts concern the material fixation of a program, which can be either wire or wireless, such as, for example, cable or satellite transmission.

The transmission of cable programs is made on the basis of individual or collective agreements between, on the one part, the program creators and the beneficiaries of neighbouring rights and, on the other part, the cable network exploitation enterprises.

Copyright over a program comprises of the exclusive right to:

  • register or reproduce and retransmit the whole or substantial part of the program;
  • transmit or retransmit it to the public in an area where entry is permitted only upon ticket payment;
  • the material fixation of the program;
  • the rental and lending of material fixations of the program;
  • the distribution of material fixations of the program;
  • the taking of photographs from the program.

What are computer programs and how are they protected?

Computer programs, as well as their preparatory design material, are protected as literary works on the condition that they are personal intellectual creations of their author and not a copy of some existing program.

Copyright over a computer program comprises of the exclusive right, in the Republic of Cyprus, of:

  • permanent or temporary reproduction of the whole or part of the computer program, by any means and form, including reproduction required for loading, appearing on screen, execution, transfer or storage thereof;
  • the translation, adjustment or any other conversion of the computer program and reproduction of its results;
  • the distribution to the public in any form, including the rental of the original computer program or copies thereof.

What are databases and how are they protected?

A database concerns the collection works, data or other independent elements, organised in a systematic or methodical manner and individually accessible by electronic means or otherwise.

The creator of a database, which is original, has the exclusive right of its exploitation, as follows:

  • the temporary or lasting reproduction of the whole or part thereof, by any means and form;
  • the translation, adjustment, and any other modification thereof;
  • the distribution of the database or of copies thereof to the public;
  • the announcement, display or presentation thereof to the public;
  • the reproduction, distribution, announcement, display or presentation to the public of the results of any modification thereof.

How is copyright obtained?

Copyright is obtained automatically, at the time when this appears in some material form, meaning it has been reduced to writing, audio recorded, recorded in any way by electronic or other means and provided that the said object is original. An original work is the personal intellectual creation and not an imitation of an existing work or draft work.

Consequently, obtaining and exercising copyright in the Republic of Cyprus does not require its publication, entry into some register nor the renewal of its protection.

For more information, refer to the page Protecting your creation.

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