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Features of copyright protection of a work published under a pseudonym in Ukraine

Question:

Who can file a lawsuit about protection of copyright in Ukraine if a work was published under a pseudonym?

Answer:

Many creative people work under a pseudonym. Presumption of authorship defines an author as a person that is listed as an author on original or duplicate of work. This provision is also applied to works that were published under pseudonym if such pseudonym allows identifying an author.

At the same time if it is impossible to identify an author but there is a need to protect copyright the leading role will be played by a publishing establishment (publisher) that produced/published a work.

Section 4 of Article 11 of the law of Ukraine on copyrights provides that if a work was published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the work’s publisher (the work must contain his name or its naming) acts as author’s representative and is entitled to protect the rights of latter. This provision is in force until the author reveals his name or claims his authorship.

Based on this a lawsuit about copyrights protection is filed by a publisher. The resolution of Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine number 5 dated 04.06.2010 explains that in such cases even the court is not entitled to demand the author’s name to be revealed. Besides it points out that if an author does not take part in proceedings and publisher falls under definition of a party described by Article 1 of the Code of Commercial Procedure of Ukraine than depending on parties such dispute must be heard by commercial courts.

If an author of a work does not reveal his name or claim his authorship until the case is decided, a court can make a decision to satisfy a lawsuit in favor of a publisher that will subsequently provide things that were collected based on court’s decision to the author or other person that holds copyright for a particular work.

This “question - answer” comment on legislation was written by our lawyers and is closely related to firm’s experience within practice of Intellectual property.

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