‘Neighbouring rights’ to copyright or ‘related rights’

A play is performed on stage by actors, a song is recorded in a studio by a singer, a production company produces a record… These situations benefit from protection even though the people concerned are not necessarily the authors of the original creation: the protection is provided by neighbouring rights to copyright (or also called “related rights”).

  • What are related rights?

Related rights are a branch of intellectual property. They belong to those who bring a work to life, but who are not considered authors. They are to be distinguished from copyright.

They are “neighbouring” or “related” because they are exercised independently and without prejudice to copyright. Indeed, they do not concern the creation, but the ancillary activities that surround the author. However, copyright and related rights can be combined.

For example, a song is first and foremost a written text that benefits from copyright protection. It is the first creation. Afterwards, this song will be performed by a singer, who benefits from related rights protection for his/her performance. This is the ancillary activity. But the same person can be at the origin of both activities.

  • Who can benefit?

Neighbouring rights protect the auxiliaries of creation. These are:

  • Performers (singers, actors, etc.);
  • Producers of phonograms (disks, records) and videograms (audiovisual industry);
  • Audiovisual communication companies (TV channel, radio).

Thus, neighbouring rights concern the natural or legal persons who have helped or financed the production of the work.

  • What rights are conferred?

These beneficiaries are granted exclusive rights which give them the possibility to authorise or prohibit the use and exploitation of their work and to receive remuneration.

Related rights confer temporary rights: they are limited in time. Protection lasts for 50 years from 1 January of the calendar year from:

  • From the performance or its communication to the public for performers;
  • From the first fixation of the phonogram or videogram or its communication to the public for producers;
  • From the first communication to the public of the programme for audiovisual communication companies.


  • How to secure my rights?

The Copyright.eu certificate of anteriority enables you to prove that your creations existed at a certain date and that you are the author.

This type of service is important for creations that depend on related rights. Indeed, as protection for producers of phonograms/videograms begins at the time of the first fixation, it is important to date it and to secure its materialisation. This is even more true for artists who must be able to prove their personal interpretation.

It is therefore essential to obtain proof of anteriority to date your work and prove that you are its performer or producer, particularly in the event of a future copy or challenge by a competitor. The Copyright.eu anteriority certificate provides indisputable proof of anteriority, through the intervention of a Bailiff (depending on the offer selected), but also through the qualified electronic timestamp which has evidential value, including internationally.

To apply for a Copyright.eu anteriority certificate, the process can be completed online. Please visit the following address: https://www.copyright.eu/depot-copyright-en-ligne/fonctionnement/