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Translation of the Dutch Copyright Act

The Dutch Copyright Act (Auteurswet) regulates copyright in the Netherlands. It protects literary, scientific and artistic works. It also describes portrait rights, lending rights and moral rights, among others. This law was enacted in 1912. Hendriks & James, which has now merged with Translation Agency Fiducia, translated it into English.

What is the Dutch Copyright Act?

The Dutch Copyright Act regulates copyright, which is a writer’s, scientist’s or artist’s exclusive right to disclose or reproduce a work.¬†An author may determine what happens to their work. Only they may reproduce or disclose their work to the public, unless its copyright has been transferred or a right of use (i.e. a licence) has been granted to a third party. This means that the author’s consent is always required for the publication or distribution of their work. The author may also ask for compensation. An idea is not immediately protected by copyright, but it can be recorded in the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property’s i-DEPOT. If the idea is developed further, it could be covered by the Dutch Copyright Act.

When does copyright law apply?

This is regulated by the Dutch Copyright Act. It defines the protections that apply to your work, which must meet a number of requirements in this regard.

  • It has to be original and it must not resemble anyone else’s work.
  • It has to be possible to see, read or hear it.
  • The Act does not apply to technical products or processes, which are subject to patent law instead.

Examples of protected works include books, films, paintings, photographs and apps. A work has copyright protection from the moment it is created and it does not need to be applied for or registered. It costs nothing and it also applies internationally.

The key provisions of the Dutch Copyright Act

The Act sets out a number of rights, for example the rights of online service providers as well as database, lending and portrait rights. According to database law, for instance, anyone wishing to use a database must first obtain the consent of its so-called author. And the author of a book, film or work of art is due compensation if any such work is lent out. Also, anyone featuring in a photograph or a film has the right to prohibit publication. Their explicit consent is then required before it can be disclosed to the public.

English translation of the Dutch Copyright Act

Hendriks & James, now Translation Agency Fiducia, translated the Dutch Copyright Act into English at the request of the law firm Visser Schaap & Kreijger. It was released publicly and can be downloaded here:

Download the English translation of the Dutch Copyright Act.

Printed copy of the English translation

Of course, this translation is not only available in PDF format, it’s also in print because it’s so often referred to. It includes the Dutch original. We will happily send you a copy of this bilingual book.

If you would like to order a copy of it, Please do not hesitate to contact us.


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