Copyright is the government’s recognition and protection of the author’s right in its literary and artist ic work, being an artistic work an original production of plastic, linguistic, sound or other nature created to express ideas, emotions or a general vision of the world, whatever may be t he mode or form of its expression.

The Copyright Law is a set of rules and principles which regulates the moral and economic rights granted to the authors for the creation of a literary, artistic or scientific work. It is of special interest the moral rights granted by the Mexican Law, which can not be assigned nor transfered. The term of protection granted by the Law is the life of the author and one hundred years after his/her death, if t he work has been registered as of joint authorship, then the life term of one hundred years is calculated from the death of the last surviving author.

The Mexican Federal Copyright Law classifies the artistic Works in the following categories:

  • Literary
  • Musical compositions, with or without words
  • Dramatic works
  • Choreographic Works; Works of drawing and painting
  • Sculptural and plastic works
  • Cartoons and comics
  • Works of Architecture
  • Cinematographic and audiovisual works
  • Radio and TV programs
  • Computer software, please take note that in most of the Countries computer software may be protected as a patent. In Mexico, computer programs have the same status as literary Works
  • Photographic Works
  • Works of applied art, namely: graphic or textile design
  • Compilation of literary or artistic Works such as collections, encyclopedias, databases.

An idea is registrable as a Copyright?

No. The registrable work must be reduced to a tangible form, the ideas or another kind of work must be secured in a fixed media.

Who may be the author?
The author is an individual, the creator of a literary or artistic work. For example: songwriters, a writer, novelist, choreographers, photographers, painters’, composers, software developers.

What is a reservation of rights?
Reservation of rights is a registration which is obtained to have the exclusive right to use the names and characteristics of real or fictitous characters, names of individuals, names of groups engaged in artistic activities and names and operating characteristics of advertising campaigns.

Why do I need to protect the artistic and literary work?
Mexico is part of the Bern Convention, therefore, in strict sense, once the work is reduced to a tangible form, the copyright is automatic, nevertheless, registration is recommended to prove the right to a work and enforce it. The Copyright registration recognizes the author’s paternity. A Copyright certificate gives its
holder the lawful right to use the notice reservation of rights or the abbreviation “D. R. ©” to let the public know that the work is copyrighted.