Copyright law

Copyright is the branch of the Swedish law that holds the legal provisions on the rights of writers, artists and other creative persons to determine how their literary or artistic works may be used. The copyright to a work is separated into two different parts, immaterial rights and economic rights.

Rules regulating this can be found in the Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (SFS 1960:729).

Immaterial rights

  • The right to be mentioned in connection with the use of the work.
  • The right to respect for the work, ie. that the work may not be altered or made available to the public in a form or in a context that is offensive to the author's literary or artistic reputation or uniqueness.

Economic rights

  • The right to allow, or prohibit, the reproduction of the work, for example, photocopying.
  • The right to make the work available to the public. For example to perform or show the work in public, or to distribute copies of the work.

In some cases, you are allowed to use works despite the economic rights of copyright protection. The immaterial rights, on the other hand, must always be observed. For example, you are allowed to quote from public works, but must then name the source. The economic rights can also, unlike the non-profit ones, be transferred to another person.