On June 16, 2011, Law 1450 was issued (through which the 2010-2014 National Development Plan was announced), by means of which the regime of assignment contracts of author's economic rights was modified.

Article 20 of Law 23 of 1982, which only acknowledged the presumption of assignment of economic rights within the frame of a service contract, now also includes this presumption regarding works created within the frame of a labour contract.

For the abovementioned presumption to take place, all labour and service contracts must be in writing. However, this presumption admits for the parties to agree otherwise and does not deprive authors from any of the moral rights he/she has upon his/her work.

On the other hand, the requisite regarding the need for the assignment contracts to be acknowledged before Notary Public or converted into Public Deed was eliminated. The only validity requirement that shall be demanded from now on, shall be that said contracts are in writing. Notwithstanding the above, and with the aim of providing legal security, the contracts must still be registered before the Copyright Office for their enforceability before third parties.

This reform obliges the contracting parties to be clear at the moment of assigning economic author's rights, because in some aspects, the law supplies the lack of stipulation. Therefore, when the parties have not made any agreement on the term or territory of the assignment, it is understood it shall have a term of maximum five (5) years and it shall be limited to the country where the rights are assigned.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.