A Comparative Study of Authors' Right and Copyright in Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems with a view at Iranian Law

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Private Law, Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 MA. in Private Law, Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


“Intellectual Property Rights” is the privilege granted to the author by copyright regulations. The purpose of this privilege is to protect the creators’ relationship with their works and allow them to benefit from the outcome of their efforts both tangibly (economically) and intangibly (ethically). By the same token, the aim behind these rights is also to protect the personality, time, effort, and creativity of the creator. The status of such rights in the two legal systems “Civil Law” and “Common Law” is different and has been identified under the title “Authors’ Rights” and “Copyright”, respectively. One of the common problems in most scientific societies is the lack of distinction between the two and assuming them to be the same. While explaining the legal systems of Authors’ Rights and Copyright, this research work - by examining the theories and regulations of the countries subject to the Civil Law and Common Law legal systems - shows that although these systems have similarities in some matters, they differ from each other in essence. The intellectual approach to the Authors’ Rights emphasizes the strengthening of “Private Property” while Copyright focuses on “Public Property and Interest”. Both Authors’ Rights and Copyright systems have been developed to support creators and publishers, but in this case, the Copyright System has failed to satisfy its addressees due to certain obvious weaknesses. The Authors’ Rights System is, however, more efficient and covers various aspects of the rights of its users, and as a result, there has been a tendency in many countries with Copyright Systems to turn to the Authors’ Right System.


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