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Copyright Guide: Copyright glossary




A translation or adaptation of another person's work or a new work that has been derived by modifying another person's work. An adaptation may be copyrighted only if it meets the required level of originality. The copyright of the adaptation does not restrict the rights of the original work.


An accurately defined sequence of steps, which one can follow in order to solve a specific problem. The operation of a computer application is based on algorithms written in different programming languages.


The author or other legal or natural person, to whom copyrights have been transferred by law, agreement, inheritance, divorce law or will etc.


The person, who has created a literary or artistic work. In the music industry, authors are composers, lyricists, arrangers, and translators.



A type of licensing agreement, used for websites in particular, where the licensing terms are available under the 'terms and conditions' hyperlink.



A type of licensing agreement for computer applications, where the contractual terms are available prior to the installation of the application. The terms are normally accepted by clicking on a separate 'Agree' button.

Collective work

A work, which has been created by more than one author so, that each author's contribution can be distinguished from the others'. The authors of a collective work each receive a copyright for their contribution and each person may submit a copyright infringement claim for only their part of the work. Collective works include, among others, songs with both a composition and lyric element.


A work created by combining works or elements of works. The author of a compilation has the copyright to his work, but his right does not restrict the rights of the original works.


The right of the work's author to protect his work. Copyright includes both economic and moral rights.

Copyright holder

The person, to whom the work's copyright belongs. Usually the author of the work, however a copyright may also be transferred by agreement e.g. to the publisher, or it may be bequeathed or donated to someone.



Making the work available to the public by sale, loan, rental, donation or other manner.

Distribution rule

Teosto and Gramex's distribution rule defines the respective shares for the rights holders of a work regarding due compensations.


Economic rights

The author's exclusive right to determine the economic exploitation of the work.  The economic rights include the following rights: the right to reproduce and publicly perform the work, to disseminate and present it to the public. The author may, by agreement, waive his economic rights.


Flow chart

An operational modelling of a computer application.


Grand rights

The performance rights of grand stage works such as operas, musicals and ballets.


Joint work

A work, which one or more authors have created together so, that each author's contribution in the work cannot be distinguished. Co-authors of a joint work obtain a copyright together and anyone of them may make a copyright infringement claim for the work.



A licence or permission that the copyright holder may grant for a copyrighted object. An agreement for such a licence is called a licence agreement. A licence agreement will allow, for example, one to grant manufacturing and distribution rights as well as other equivalent rights. However, the original copyright remains with the grantor of the licence.



The registration of the copyrighted works, collection of compensations and monitoring of payments for a fee. For example, Teosto manages the copyrights of its music author members.


The final format of a recording to be duplicated.

Moral right

The author's right to be credited in connection with a work in a manner that follows good practice.

Moral rights

The author's moral and integrity rights.

Music publisher

A person or company distributing musical works and promoting their use. Musical works, or elements of musical works, are compositions, lyrics, arrangements and translations. The publisher's role and responsibilities are defined in the publishing contract, signed by both the author and publisher.



Nordisk Copyright Bureau, the joint Nordic organization supervising recording rights


Object code

Source code, presented in such a way that only a computer application can read it.


Performance compensation

In accordance with the Copyright Act, public performance of copyrighted music requires a license. The user is subject to the payment of a compensation, which is called a performance compensation. In practice, the compensations will be collected by Teosto, who pays the compensations to the authors and publishers. An exception to this are the so-called grand rights for dramatic works, whose performance compensations are collected by the publisher or author of an unpublished work.

Permission for publication

A contractual permission born to the user of a musical work to publish the work in their own printed publication. In connection with music, film and theatrical plays, this means presentation of the work.

Preparatory design material

Preparatory material for the design of a computer application.

Private use

Personal use or use within the family circle. Everyone has the right to make a few copies of a work for private use. Copies made in such a manner may not be used for any other purpose.


General title for manufacturers and distributers of audio and / or visual recordings. In accordance with the Copyright Act, this means any entity that for the first time records a sound or image. Protected sound recordings may not be copied or distributed without the producer's consent. The producer can also mean a person who is responsible for the content of the performances on a recording.


The publication of the songs of a work through distribution to a retailer or by other public dissemination, which happens with the consent of the author. Publication is mentioned in connection with works that are primarily distributed by sale, loan or rental.

Public domain

Works in the public domain do not have copyright protection. The work is available for use free of charge, apart from its adaptations.

Public presentation

Presentation of a work in a situation other than among the family or in an another carefully defined group. Presentation is usually mentioned in connection with works of fine art.


A person or more usually a company distributing works and contractually entitled to a share of the copyright. The publisher of a musical work usually also owns the graphic work rights.


Recording compensation  (re-mechanization compensation)
Permission must be obtained for making a recording of music. In Finland, this is granted by Teosto / NCB. The compensation paid for use is called the recording or re-mechanization compensation, which is paid to authors and publishers.

Registering a work

Rights holders notify the copyright society of the required details for the registration of a work using a work registration.


Giving physical form to a work. Reproduction of a work or a part thereof - including manual copying - or transferring a work to a device capable of reproduction.

Required level of originality

The requirement of independence and originality for a work, which a work must meet in order to obtain protection. However, no requirements regarding a work's artistic value are imposed.

Right of integrity

The author's right to prohibit adaptation of a work in a way that is demeaning or defaming.

Royalties ("Profit-sharing compensation")

The licensee is usually required to pay compensation for any income or fees received from copyrighted property. The compensation is usually based on net profit or sales.



A type of licensing agreement for computer applications, where the contractual terms are printed on the surface of the application's packaging. The terms are legible through the transparent cellophane wrapping. In accordance with the terms, opening the packaging, installing or using the application constitutes acceptance of the agreement terms.Source code
A text-based listing of the programming for a computer application.


The logical structure of source character combinations and words.


The term of protection

The duration of the copyright and related rights. The term of protection for literary and artistic works extends to 70 years after the end of the year of the author's death. The term of protection for an artist's performance, a recording and a radio or television broadcast is 50 years from the end of the year of the recording or broadcast.

Traditional work

A free work (if an original work and not adapted thereafter).


A WTO international agreement on intellectual property rights.


U.S. Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright authority, which keeps a register of copyrights and their holders.



The term for "Click wrap" in connection with websites.

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation)

The global parent organization for intellectual property.


The product of independent and original creative work. In music, works are seen to include compositions and any arrangements, lyrics (texts) and translations made based on those works.