The Mexican Government in compliance with NAFTA and TRIPS commitments has enacted a new "Federal Law of Author's Right" (hereinafter referred to as "Copyright Law"), published in the Official Gazette of the Federation of December 24, 1996, effective on March 24, 1997, and to be administered by the "National Institute of Author Right" (in charge of applying the substantive portion of the law) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (in charge of applying certain enforcement aspects of the Law).

In brief, the purpose of the "Copyright Law" is protecting and enforcing copyright and neighboring rights. As to copyright, the law reputes the author - individual that creates the work of authorship - as the principal object of protection. However, anyone who commissions production of a particular work under a work-for-hire relationship may also be the original owner of the work by fulfilling certain formalities and conditions, such as having agreements executed with the contributing individuals, and expressly including a work-for-hire clause. Otherwise, corporations devoted to production or exploitation of works of authorship may obtain the rights to use the work through temporary assignments or licenses. On the other hand, artists, phonogram and videogram producers as well as broadcasting organizations are subject to the protection afforded by the Copyright Law by virtue of the neighboring rights.

This article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should NOT be treated as legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought by you about your particular case and special circumstances.