Chile/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

In Chile, Copyright and related rights are governed by Law No. 17,336 and its regulations (Chilean National Congress, 1970b). The Chilean Intellectual Property Law was amended by Law No. 18,957 in 1990 (Chilean National Congress, 1990b), and in 2003, in the context of the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with the United States (Chilean National Congress, 2003d), and again in 2010 by Law No. 20,345 (Chilean National Congress, 2010d).

The Law protects the rights authors acquire by creating works in the literary, artistic and scientific fields. Among the works subject to protection are books, essays, conferences, speeches, plays, musical compositions, magazines and newspapers, photographs, films, architectural projects, audiovisual materials, paintings, drawings, illustrations, sculptures and computer programs, among others. Chilean copyright protects the property and moral rights of authors, artists, interpreters, or performers, music producers and Chilean and foreign radio broadcasters regarding the benefits from, authorship and integrity of works, and the related rights. Likewise, the Law recognizes the validity of international conventions in agreements signed and ratified by Chile (See Chapter 3.5).

Chilean legislation respects the author as the exclusive and inalienable owner of the moral right, entitling him or her to a lifelong right to assert his or her authorship over the works and reject possible changes to them without his or her consent, to prevent edition, authorize third party participation or remain anonymous. Likewise the Law entitles the owner of the property right to make direct use of the work for commercial purposes or to transfer his or her property rights fully or partially to third parties. In Chile, copyright lasts for 70 years after the author’s death, or in the case of collective works, 70 years after the last author has died

On the other hand, the Law recognizes copyright-related rights of artists, interpreters and performers of the works that they perform, giving them the right to allow or prohibit the distribution of their performance or receive payment for its public use, notwithstanding the rights of the author of the work. These related rights last 70 years from the distribution of the artist’s interpretation or performance of the work in question.

On this basis, the Law establishes that those who make use of music or reproductions of works protected by copyright using any type of media or broadcasting method to the public shall pay the authors, artists, interpreters, performers and producers for their use of said music or other media. 50% of the income from the rights to use music shall be distributed to artists, interpreters or performers, and 50% to producers. With regards to the editing industry, the payment agreed to in editing contracts shall be no less than 10% of the sale price to the public. The legislation also allows fair use of these materials by libraries, archives and educational institutions, which may reproduce and exhibit copies and works not found on the market, and protects domestic practices.

Other legislation relevant to the intellectual property and copyright area is Law No. 20,243, which establishes rules on the moral and property rights of interpreters of artistic performances recorded in audiovisual format (Chilean National Congress, 2008b), and which regulates the reuse of audiovisual works in communications media, to benefit actors and other artists in the area, and Law No. 19,039, which protects industrial property rights (Chilean National Congress, 1991).

Among the main public bodies in charge of designing, implementing and evaluating policies to promote copyright and intellectual property are the Department of Intellectual Rights (DDI) of the DIBAM (; and the National Institute for Industrial Property (INAPI), of the Ministry of Economy, Promotion and Tourism ( Furthermore, the indications included in the Chilean State’s Cultural Policy 2011-2016 on digital culture should be taken into account (see Chapters 2 and 4.2.11).

Chapter published: 28-12-2013