The copyright is a personal right automatically coming into existence with the creation of a work, which is due to the creator of said work. It protects the creator of a work of literature, science or art against the unauthorized economical exploitation of his creative performance and against violations of his idealistic interests in the work. The forms of works known best are literary works (literature and speeches), works of music, dramatic works (theater, ballet, pantomime), graphic art works and architecture, photographic works and cinematographic works. However, also data bases are subject to copyright.

The copyright in respect of computer programs comes especially close to the industrial property protection.

A special feature in the field of copyrights is constituted by anonymous and pseudonymous works, the creators of which can be registered in a register of authors of the German Patent and Trademark Office.