Consideration of copyrights in a combination of works

Consideration of copyrights in a combination of works

A combination work, or ‘compiled work’, is created by combining parts from various elements of multiple art forms. The creator of a combination work has a copyright to the new work he or she has created when the work crosses the threshold for originality.

Often in this type of combination work, (music, sound, or image) material is used that falls within the copyright of another person. The creator of the combination work should then ensure that the copyrights of others related to the various elements of the new work are honoured. For example, the presentation of a combination work containing audiovisual material requires permission from the original creators or copyright holders of all the partial works.

The use of the work determines what permissions are needed for use of a compiled work composed of copyrighted elements from other creators. If the situation so dictates, permissions for recording, presenting, and using photographs may be needed. This is often the case.

On the basis of the original work, permission is granted by the creator, the producer, or an organisation dealing with the control of copyrights. Compensation usually must be paid for this permission.

Presentation permission must be acquired if one wishes to present a video containing copyrighted material of another creator. With regard to music, permission depends on the situation and may be granted by the producer/creator or by Teosto ry (the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society) on behalf of the music maker(s).

A synchronisation licence, conferring permission to use music in visual recordings, is granted by the Nordisk Copyright Bureau (NCB), who administer the rights of composers, lyricists, and publishers.

Use of recorded or otherwise stored music in various sound or visual recordings also requires permission from the music’s performers and producers. The relevant licences are granted by Gramex ry (the Copyright Society of Performing Artists and Phonogram Producers in Finland).

When a combination work includes visual material copyrighted by another creator, a licence to use this visual material is required. The licence is granted by the creator or by Kuvasto ry on behalf of the artists it represents.

At times, individual poems or excerpts of text are used as part of works of visual art. The Finnish literary copyright society Sanasto ry grants licences with regard to literature for using copyrighted literary works as part of a new publication.

If an audiovisual work is performed publicly at a festival, in an exhibition, or at another event, the event organiser is responsible for acquiring an event licence from Teosto ry to cover all performances at the event.

Teosto ry (music)
Nordisk Copyright Bureau (music)
Gramex ry (music)
Kuvasto ry (visual arts)
Sanasto ry (literature)

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