Protection of Classics

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Protection of Classics is a provision of intellectual property law that is included in the Copyright Acts of the Nordic countries.[1] According to this stipulation, it is forbidden to treat a work of art in a manner which violates cultural interests after the death of the author.[2] This concerns also cases in which the copyright is no longer in force or has never existed, that is, material in the public domain.[3]

The Copyright Acts of the Nordic countries resemble each other because important legislation used to be drafted jointly in these countries and that applied also to the copyright act preparation during the 1930s–1950s.[4]

In most Nordic countries, there have been cases in which the prohibition has been imposed. Several cases exist in Norway, two in Denmark, and one in Finland. For instance in Denmark, it was ruled that also the Gospels are protected by this paragraph of the Copyright Act.[1] In Finland, several translated children's books (including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) were banned in May 1962 because of the poor quality and clandestine abridgement of the translations. After appeals, the Supreme Court of Finland upheld the prohibition issued by the Finnish Ministry of Education.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wennersten, Ulrika (2014). Immaterialrätt och skydd av samhällsideal: En studie av klassikerskyddet i upphovsrätten och undantagen i varumärkesrätten, mönsterrätten och patenträtten för allmän ordning och goda seder [Intellectual property rights and the protection of social ideals: A study of the classic protection in copyright and the exceptions in trademark law, design law and patent law for public policy and good manners] (PhD thesis) (in Swedish). Lund: Lunds universitet, Juridiska fakulteten. pp. 190–195. ISBN 978-91-7473-927-5.
  2. ^ Niiranen, Valtteri; Tarkela, Pekka (1998). Tekijänoikeuden tietosanakirja [Copyright encyclopedia] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Werner Söderström Lakitieto. pp. 59–60. ISBN 951-670-022-5.
  3. ^ Copyright Act of Finland (404/1961). An unofficial English translation, § 53. Finlex.
  4. ^ Fredriksson, Martin (2009). Skapandets rätt: Ett kulturvetenskapligt perspektiv på den svenska upphovsrättens historia [The right of creation: A cultural science perspective on the history of Swedish copyright] (in Swedish). Göteborg: Daidalos. p. 263. ISBN 978-91-7173-301-6. Archived from the original on 2019-01-26.
  5. ^ Lång, Markus (2020). "Banning Poor Alice, or, Outlaw Fairy Tales in Finland". Knight Letter. III (104): 25–28. ISSN 0193-886X.