Copyright and employment

According to the Finnish law the original copyright owner is always the person creating the work. Generally the employer gets no rights to the employee’s copyright protected works. Transfer of rights has to be agreed upon separately.

The employer may get some rights to use the work resulting from the nature of the employment. The employer may get right to use the work as extensively as the employer’s activities require. Copyright belongs to the employee and he is free to use all his rights. Obligations of employment may, however, set limits to the employee’s freedom to use his rights.

Employer’s user rights vary depending on the field of activities. Traditionally it has been considered that universities as employers get no rights to copyright protected material made by teachers or researchers.

If a computer programme or a work immediately related to the programme or a database is created within employment or service duties, copyright to the computer programme or work immediately related to the programme or database is transferred to the employer according to Article 40 b. These provisions are not, however, applied to databases or programmes or to works immediately related to the programmes which have been made by persons who independently work within teaching or research at universities. This last exception is not applied to military education institutions.