Are standards covered by the Copyright Act? There is a widespread misconception that standards are public records in line with laws and regulations that are not subject to copyright and therefore may be reproduced free of charge. This is not the case.
A standard in the Copyright Act, terminology, is a literary work. In some cases, standards are terms of technical drawings, symbols etc.. In contrast to real literary works, these standards are not expressed through words, but nonetheless included to the literary works, as knowledge is given a meaningful content for example with a technical drawing.
According to the current Danish law, copyright belongs to the one that produces the standard or the person entrusted with copyright. When Standards are established on regional, European or international level, the relevant standards organization, owns all rights, including copyright, to further exploitation of the working papers or standards. This means that experts participating in standardization who write the standards, disclaim copyrights which is ultimately transferred to the national standards organizations such as Danish Standards.
The practical significance of copyright
The fact that copyright is transferred to standardization organizations, means that even if a company pays its employees to participate in standardization, it cannot exploit working papers or the finished standard in the business free of charge.
The copyright on standards and working documents provides Danish Standards the exclusive rights to hold and produce copies of standards and working documents in Denmark. Furthermore, Danish Standards is allowed to make the documents available to the public in both the original shape, as amended, including translation or transformation.
It requires the consent of Danish Standards to reproduce from a standard. When reproducing a standard adaptation is equated, which means that translation, restating or otherwise changes I the standard requires the consent of Danish Standards prior to translation, revision or adaptation of the standard.
The purchase of a standard is only to a single copy. This means that if a company should need more copies / copies for different people, it must only be with the consent ofDanish Standards, before making full or partial reproduction.
This also applies if multiple users need access to standards in electronic form, or if sections of the electronic version of the standard is copieds or printed in more copies than the purchased licenses.
What are the consequences of lack of authorization?
If a standard or working document is reproduced in violation of Danish Standards copyright remuneration and compensation must be paid to Danish Standards. Furthermore it may be subject to imposition of fine for violation.
If you wish to reproduce from Danish standards in books, publications, brochures or wish to provide electronic reproduction of the corporate intranet, please contact:
Publishing and Customer Services
Tel: + 45 39 96 61 31
fax: + 45 39 96 61 02
Fonden Dansk Standard/ Danish Standards Foundation
Göteborg Plads 1
General questions regarding copyright, please contact Manager, Sales and Publishing Mogens Andersen.