Brief Explanation of the Legal System
Copyright in Argentina is governed by law 11.723. It is of the essence to say that Argentina is a member of the Berne Convention. Argentine legislation on copyright is applied equally to nationals and foreigners; with the exception of the latter in case their country of origin’s legal system does not have any provision recognizing this intellectual property right.
Essential Requirements and Subject Matter Protected
The subject matter protected under the law is broadly described in art. 1, through which, after listing several types of protectable works (e.g. scientific, literary and artistic works, source and target computer programs; compilations of data or other materials; musical compositions, drawings, paintings, sculptures, architecture, etc.), a broad scope of coverage is established for “any scientific, literary, artistic or didactic production, regardless of the reproduction process.”
There is no specific provision regarding the essential requirements for such works, however, doctrine and case law have defined novelty and originality as minimum bases and starting points. Copyright protection covers the expression of ideas, procedures, methods of operation and mathematical concepts, but not those ideas, procedures, methods and concepts themselves. The Argentine system recognizes the existence of moral rights in favor of the author. In article 10 of the law; the reasonable use (publication) of another’s work for didactic or scientific purposes is accepted, with a limit of one thousand words in literary or scientific works or eight bars in musical works, unless such portions are the relevant ones in each case. This is known as the “right of quotation.”
Prosecution works as a deposit system. Even though a work is protected from the moment of its creation, the author may register their work with the National Copyright Office (Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor) and/or its cooperative bodies, to enforce their rights against third parties.
Copyright protection is granted for the life of the author and to their heirs for seventy years, counted from January 1st of the year following that of the author’s death.
Protection of Foreign Works
Our country requires no formalities for the protection of the works whose owners come from countries which are members to the Berne Convention. Notwithstanding the foregoing, right owners may likewise apply for registration with the National Copyright Office.
Our Firm offers assistance for the protection of copyright worldwide through a large network of specialized foreign associates.
This allows us to follow our clients’ international expansion, designing with them strategies adapted to the pace of their development.