We have all heard about copyrights, those rights that a person owns when he or she writes a book, creates a movie or makes a scientific discovery.
As we are in a computer age, many programs and applications have been created, thanks to the intellect of programmers, which facilitate many day-to-day tasks.
As authors of their programs or software, they also enjoy copyrights, and for this we want to talk about software registration in Colombia, how it works and what is the process to register a software in Colombia.
About copyright in Colombia
Copyrights are a series of moral and patrimonial rights that natural and legal persons acquire when they capture an idea in a physical medium. Copyright is acquired with the creation of literary works, artistic works and scientific works.
The moral right is about the authorship that the person has on his invention and to be recognized and to attribute it recognition when his creation is spoken or used, it is an unwaivable right, non-transferable and cannot be seized.
On the other hand, the economic right is the one that allows the author to exploit or profit from his work; this right, unlike the moral right, can be waived and transferred.
Why should a creation be registered?
Although we mentioned that the copyright arises at the moment the idea is embodied in a physical medium, it is recommended that the work be registered, for support and backup purposes.
Why is a software copyrighted?
According to the
Decree No. 1360 of June 23, 1989
In accordance with Decree No. 1360 of June 23, 1989, a software (or also known as software) is classified as a literary work, since it is a “…an organized set of instructions, in natural or coded language, regardless of the medium in which it is stored, whose purpose is to cause a machine capable of processing information to indicate, perform or obtain a function, a task or a specific result“.
How software registration works in Colombia
Pursuant to Article 5 of
Decree N° 1360 of June 23, 1989
In order to register software in Colombia, it must be submitted to the National Directorate of Copyrights (Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor):
- Fill out the “Application for Registration of Software or Software Support” form of the National Directorate of Copyrights.
- Name, identification and domicile of the applicant, stating whether he/she was acting in his/her own name or as representative of another, in which case he/she must attach proof of his/her representation.
- Name and identification of the author(s).
- Name of producer.
- Title of the work, year of creation, country of origin, brief description of its functions, and in general, any other characteristic that allows it to be distinguished from other works of the same nature.
- Statement as to whether it is an original work or, on the contrary, a derivative work.
- Statement as to whether the work is individual, collaborative, collective, anonymous, pseudonymous or posthumous.
Along with this information, a copy of the software, the software description and auxiliary material, if applicable, must be enclosed.
If all documents are in order, the DNDA has 15 days to issue the copyright certificate, which can be picked up at the offices.
How long does a software copyright last?
The moral right is a right that is always in force, even after the author’s death, while the economic right is valid for the author’s lifetime plus 80 years after his death, after which time the software becomes public domain.
As you can see, as a software creator, you can register your creation and enjoy your copyrights, if you have doubts about whether your software is suitable to be registered, or you need legal advice in legal services we can help you.
Our lawyers are experts in intellectual property registration, and will provide you with all the help you need, if you want to know more about our services you can contact us through our website by