Copyright stems from and belongs to the author by mere creation of a work of authorship and it is not conditioned by fulfillment of any formalities or requirements in respect of its subject matter, quality or purpose. It is sufficient that an individual idea comes out of a spiritual, inner sphere of its creator's mind and be expressed, and that as a result of that it becomes a work of authorship that enjoys copyright protection.

A work of authorship does not necessarily need to be transposed to a tangible medium. Accordingly even a spoken or musical work, not recorded or written as sheet music, or choreography, not expressed in writing, may constitute a work of authorship. A work does not even need to be published in order to enjoy copyright protection. The principle that copyright is obtained without formalities applies in most of the countries worldwide.

With the development of technology a need has emerged to provide some form of protection to entities whose interpretation could now be recorded, multiplied, heard or watched countless times, and to entities that invest in the production of such recordings. These entities do not enjoy the legal protection of copyright, but the protection on the basis of category of rights which is close to / related to copyright.

The protection of related rights, according to BIH Law, in no way affects the rights of authors whose works enjoy legal protection. The Law protects the following categories of related rights:

- rights of performers,

- rights of producers of phonograms,

- rights of film producers,

- rights of broadcasting organizations,

- rights of publishers, and

- rights of producers of databases.

Related rights differ in comparison to copyright in the following aspects:

- right holders (not authors, but performers, producers of phonograms, movie producers ...)

- object of protection (performance, phonogram, videogram ...), and

- duration of protection (related rights last shorter than copyright...).