What is copyright?

In the legal field, the expression “Copyright” refers to the rights of the authors over their literary, artistic or scientific works. Works covered under the copyright comprise books, music, paintings, sculptures and films as well as software, databases, advertisements, maps or technical designs.

What rights are covered by the copyright?

There are two types of rights within the copyright framework: the property rights that allow the owner of those rights to obtain a financial reward for the direct or indirect use of his or her works; and the moral rights, which empower the author to claim his authorship over a work and to oppose any modification that may cause prejudice to the reputation of the author or distort the original work.

The majority of the copyright rules stipulate that the author or the holder of these rights has the power to authorize or prevent any acts with regards to his or her work. The holder of these rights over a work has the power to prohibit or allow:

  • Reproduction of the work in different formats, such as for example printed publications and sound recordings.
  • Interpretation and public performance of, for example, a theatre or musical work.
  • Recording (“fixation”) in CD or DVD format, for example.
  • Broadcasting by radio, cable or satellite.
  • Translation into other languages.
  • Adaptation, as in the case of a novel being adapted into a screenplay.

Can the copyright be registered?

According to the Berne Convention, the protection granted by copyright is obtained immediately, at the moment of creation without any registration or other formal requirement. However, some national copyright offices and some laws contemplate the registration of the works. These systems permit dealing with issues such as controversies regarding the ownership of the creation, financial transactions, sales, cessions and transfers of rights.


Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works acceded by Venezuela on 20 September 1982, entering into force on 30 December 1982.

Copyright Law published in the Extraordinary Official Journal of the Republic of Venezuela Nr. 4.638, published on 01 October 1993. Regulations of the Copyright Law and the Decision 351 of the Commission of the Cartagena Agreement, which contain the Common Regime on Copyrights and Neighboring Rights, published in the Extraordinary Official Journal Nr. 5.155 on 09 September 1997.

Requisites for presenting Copyrights (*)


  • Correctly filled form.
  • Photocopy of the Identity Card of the author or authors.
  • Tax stamps for 0,06 tax units. If additional sheets are added, 0,02 tax units for each additional sheet.
  • Payment of the application fees of 1 tax unit, an additional 0,2 tax units for each additional sheet.
  • The documentation must be presented in a manila, legal-sized folder.

Number of Samples to be deposited: If the work has not been published, one (1) sample must be presented. If the work has been published, two (2) samples must be presented.

Format of the sample: The work can be presented on paper (bound) or in digital format on CD.

Presentation of the samples: The samples must be identified with the author’s name, Identity Card Number and the name of the work. This information must be identical to the one on the application form.

If the author has died: The application can be submitted by the universal heirs, duly authorized in accordance with the Inheritance Solvency issued by the SENIAT [Venezuelan Tax Authority].

Legal entity

  • Constitutive Act, Minutes from the last Shareholder Meeting or publications, copy of the Tax Registration.
  • If the applicant submits the application in the name of the author, a duly registered power of attorney and the photocopy of the attorney-in-fact must be provided.

(*) Source: Autonomous Intellectual Property Services (SAPI) [Spanish Acronym])

P.O. Box 6106 Caracas 1010-A

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