|This page documents an English Wikipedia content guideline.|
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
|This page in a nutshell: Copyright status of a work in its home country is often important in evaluating its copyright status in the United States. Nevertheless, a work that is in the public domain in its home country can sometimes be under copyright in the United States and so can not be used on Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia allows works to be hosted here which are public domain in the United States, but not their source country.|
The Wikimedia Foundation that supports Wikipedia is located in California and the servers that host Wikipedia are located in Virginia, so Wikipedia is bound to comply with United States copyright law. However, it is an international project, and many of our users and contributors are outside the United States. The project's aim is to produce and maintain a free encyclopedia, which can be used in any way that doesn't reduce that freedom. Most of Wikipedia's material is original, licensed by contributors under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike (CC-BY-SA) and GNU Free Documentation (GFDL) licenses; some of Wikipedia's material, especially images, comes from third-party sources, and some of those third-party sources are outside the United States.
While Wikipedia prefers content that is free anywhere in the world, it accepts content that is free in the United States even if it may be under copyright in some other countries. For example works of the US federal government are in the public domain in the United States and widely used on Wikipedia, but they may not be in the public domain outside the United States. For example, we accept content that is public domain in the US because it was published before 1928 with Template:PD-US-expired-abroad even if it is not public domain anywhere else in the world
It is not always simple to determine the copyright status of a work first published outside of the United States. To determine the copyright status of a work in its country of origin (and there are at least 192 different national copyright régimes) it is typically necessary to know the date of death of the author, while to determine the copyright status in the United States it is typically necessary to know its publication history and its copyright status in the country of origin not on the date of uploading but on January 1, 1996.
What follows is by necessity a summary, our interpretation of US copyright law as it affects "works" (images, texts, sound recordings, etc.) that were produced outside of the United States. Wikipedia does not offer legal advice on US copyright law, let alone copyright laws in the other 190 sovereign states in the world. It is the responsibility of contributors to determine that content they wish to contribute is free of copyright constraints in the United States and to supply as much copyright information as possible so that users can judge for themselves whether they can reuse our material outside the United States. It is the responsibility of reusers to ensure that their use of Wikipedia material is legal in the country in which they use it.
This page does not apply to works first published in the United States.
A work can be in the public domain in the United States but still under copyright protection in its "source country": this is the case, for example, for Einstein's paper describing the theory of special relativity, first published in Germany in 1905. Any work published before 1928 is in the public domain in the United States, regardless of its source country, but German copyright protection lasts for seventy years after the death of the author (post mortem auctoris or "pma"), until December 31, 2025 in this case.
A work can equally be in the public domain in its source country but still under copyright in the United States: any non-posthumous work published after 1927 by a British or German author who died between January 1, 1926 and December 31, 1952 falls into this category. The copyright term of 70 years after the author's death (which applies to all European Union countries) has expired, but its US copyright was restored on January 1, 1996 by Act of Congress and will run until at least December 31, 2023 (95 years after publication, rounded up to the end of the year).[needs update]
Works first published outside the United States may be protected under US copyright either through restoration of the copyright or through a copyright that subsists from the time of publication. The case of restored copyrights will be examined first, as it also determines the copyright status of most contemporary works.
A large number of non-US works were given copyright protection in the United States by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 (URAA) as a result of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These copyrights are known as "restored copyrights", even though some of the works had never previously been protected in the United States. The countries concerned by this measure are (in practice) either:
- members of the World Trade Organization (WTO); or
- parties to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention); or both.
Restored copyrights are governed solely by US copyright law: the United States does not require reciprocality over and above what is required by the relevant treaties. Restoration is automatic and does not usually require registration.
The answers to questions on this page help determine the copyright status. Answering these questions in order will lead to a conclusion in bold.
- Is the source country a WTO member or a party to the Berne Convention? (use this table)
- YES: Continue to question #2.
- NO: Apply the test at "Non-restored copyrights".
- Is the work copyrightable in the United States? Architectural works (i.e. buildings) constructed before December 1, 1990, are not copyrightable in the US. Fashion designs (although copyrightable in France) are not copyrightable in the US.
- YES: Continue to question #3.
- NO: The work is in the public domain in the United States, but may still be under copyright in the source country and in other countries.
- Was the work published on or after January 1, 1928?
- YES: Continue to question #4.
- NO: The work is in the public domain in the United States, but may still be under copyright in the source country and in other countries.
- Was the work published in the United States within 30 days after its first publication in the source country?
- YES: The work is not eligible for copyright restoration. Apply the rules for US works to determine if it is in the public domain in the United States.
- NO: Continue to question #5.
- Had the copyright expired in the source country on the date of restoration? (see table)
- YES: The work is probably in the public domain in the United States, but see "Subsisting copyrights".
- NO: The work is under copyright in the United States, and will remain so until at least 2024. See "Wartime copyrights" for a limited exception.
The source country of a work is the country in which it was first published. If the work was published on the same day in more than one country, it is the "country which has the most significant contacts with the work". If the work is unpublished the source country is "the eligible country in which the author or rightholder is a national or domiciliary".
Date of restoration
The date of restoration is January 1, 1996 if the source country was a member of the WTO or a party to the Berne Convention on that date. Otherwise, it is the earliest date on which a country becomes eligible for the restoration of copyrights.
Copyright protection in the source country
If the work was in the public domain in the source country "through expiration of term of protection" on the URAA date (January 1, 1996 in most cases) the US copyright is not restored.
Any copyrights that were "ever owned or administered by the Alien Property Custodian" were not restored if the restored copyright would be held by "a government or an instrumentality thereof". Hence the US copyright in Mein Kampf was not restored, as it would have been held by the government of Bavaria. However there are several important limitations to this exception.
A number of German cases indicate that the copyright in images or graphic works remains with the author, even if the works were produced for official use. All of these German copyrights were extended in period to 70 years pma before the date of restoration, and so the US copyrights have been restored.
The presidential proclamation instituting copyright relations between the United States and Japan, effective May 10, 1906, is considered to have been abrogated. However, the two countries maintained copyright relations throughout the war and aftermath, so government-owned works that were administered by the Alien Property Custodian should not have been restored. The abrogation occurred on April 28, 1952 per the Treaty of Peace with Japan, but same peace treaty included a four-year interim copyright agreement where the US and Japan gave each other's works national treatment, and that also applied retroactively. Japan timed their ratification of the Universal Copyright Convention so it would enter into effect on the date that the interim agreement expired, April 28, 1956, meaning there was no lapse in copyright relations between the two countries. Works that were at the time protected under the previous law were thereafter protected under the terms of the UCC, not the terms of the earlier treaties.
Duration of restored copyright
The duration of the restored copyright is "the remainder of the term of copyright that the work would have otherwise been granted in the United States if the work never entered the public domain": 95 years from the date of publication for works published between 1928 and 1977, and 70 years from the death of the author for works published in 1978 or later.
Works first published after the date of restoration
These works are automatically granted US copyright protection for the lifetime of the author plus seventy years.
For countries that are not yet eligible for copyright restoration, the main criterion used by Wikipedia is the copyright status in the source country. These countries fall into three groups:
- Laos and Turkmenistan, which are parties to the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC);
- Countries that have never had copyright relations with the United States;
- Countries whose status is "unclear" even to the US Copyright Office (all of them former colonies).
- Is the work still under copyright in the source country?
- YES: The work can only be used on Wikipedia under the doctrine of fair use.
- Was the work first published in Laos on or after January 1, 1964, or in Turkmenistan on or after May 27, 1973?
- YES: The work is under copyright in the United States, and will remain so until at least 2060. This is true regardless of registration or the presence or absence of a copyright notice.
- Was the work first published in Laos between September 16, 1955 and December 31, 1963?
- YES: The work is under copyright in the United States provided that its copyright was renewed at the end of the first 28-year term. Wikipedia assumes that copyrights were renewed unless we have evidence to the contrary.
- NO: The work is in the public domain.
In a small number of cases, the application of the test for restored copyright will indicate that the work is in the public domain in the United States when in fact there is a subsisting US copyright that dates from the time of its publication. This situation can arise when
- the other country has long-standing copyright relations with the United States; and
- the minimum copyright term in the other country is shorter than the period between 1928 and the date of restoration (67 years or fewer, in most cases).
Example: The photographs of a Canadian photographer who died in 1943 entered the public domain in Canada fifty years after their publication. As they were in the public domain through expiration of their copyright term on January 1, 1996, their copyrights were not restored by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994. However, the photographs could have been registered for US copyright under a Presidential Declaration effective January 1, 1924 if they were first published on or after this date: if their US copyrights had been renewed at the appropriate time, they will still be under US copyright until 95 years after their first publication (January 1, 2024 at the earliest). This is believed to be the case for some photographs by Yousuf Karsh (died 2002).
The relevant US law is Section 9(b) of the Copyright Act of 1909, which authorizes the US President to grant by proclamation the right for non-US citizens to have US copyright for their works under the same conditions as US citizens. The section explicitly provides for "works first produced or published abroad". It also implicitly provides for a retroactive effect of the presidential proclamation, though there is no indication from the US Copyright Office that any of the proclamations actually had any such retroactive effect that is relevant to Wikipedia.
Check for restored copyrights before applying this test.
- Do you have evidence (e.g. a letter from the agents for the author's estate) that the work is not protected by US copyright?
- YES: The work is in the public domain in the United States. Please provide the evidence, if necessary by following the procedure at Wikipedia:Permissions
- Did the source country have copyright relations with the United States on January 1, 1928?
- YES: The work should be assumed to be protected by US copyright. It should only be used on Wikipedia if it falls within the fair use policy.
- Was the work published on or after January 1, 1928 but before the effective date of copyright relations between the source country and the United States?
- YES: The work is in the public domain in the United States.
- NO: The work should be assumed to be protected by US copyright. It should only be used on Wikipedia if it falls within the fair use policy.
Countries with copyright relations with the United States on January 1, 1928
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia*, Brazil*, Canada, Chile, China (PRC), Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, the Dominican Republic*, Ecuador*, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala*, Haiti*, Honduras*, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua*, Norway, Panama*, Paraguay*, Peru*, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (ROC), Thailand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay*.
Countries marked with an asterisk (*) had copyright relations as parties to the Buenos Aires Convention. El Salvador had copyright relations as a party to the Mexico City Convention. For Japan, see "Wartime copyrights", for China and Taiwan, see "Chinese copyrights" below. Mexico and Guatemala had copyright relations with the United States on January 1, 1928 but these are not relevant here as their minimum copyright terms are 100 and 75 years respectively and so all copyrights were restored for the appropriate US term on January 1, 1996 by the URAA. Despite the name, Argentina did not join the Buenos Aires Convention until April 19, 1950.
Relevant copyright relations concluded after 1928
- Laos, effective September 16, 1955 by virtue of the Universal Copyright Convention: Laotian copyrights are not yet eligible for restoration (as of August 2006).
Both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (the Republic of China, ROC) are eligible for the restoration of copyrights. The dates of restoration are January 1, 1996 and January 2002, respectively. Previously, the United States had copyright relations with China, which dated from a bilateral treaty effective from January 13, 1904. The PRC does not consider this treaty to be binding, but the ROC considers it still to be in force. Neither Chinese government signed the treaty with the United States; both are considered successors of the government of the Qing Dynasty, which signed the treaty. Older works, which were ineligible for restoration because their Chinese copyright had expired before the date of restoration, may be covered by a copyright in the United States granted at the time of publication under the provisions of this treaty.
All unpublished works are protected by US copyright, regardless of the source country, for seventy years after the death of the author.
Specific country information
Countries without copyright relations with the United States
According to Circular 38a of the US Copyright Office, as of January 2021, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran and Iraq have no copyright relations with the US.
- Published works originating in one of these countries thus are not copyrighted in the United States, regardless of the local copyright laws of these countries. See 17 U.S.C. § 104(b), quoted in the Circular.
- Unpublished works, on the other hand, are copyrighted regardless of their origin or of the nationality of the works' authors, as long as they remain unpublished. See 17 U.S.C. § 104(a).
However, it is longstanding Wikipedia policy to respect the copyright law of other nations, even if these do not have official copyright relations with the United States. What this means in practice is determined case by case, bearing in mind the goal of being able to freely distribute Wikipedia in the country an incorporated work originates from.
Dates of restoration and terms of protection
Abbreviations used: pma= after death of the author; pd= after publication; pr= after creation.
|Country||Date of restoration||Term of protection
[Term on URAA date]
|Afghanistan||July 29, 2016||50 pma
innovative photos 50 pd
paintings 50 pd
audiovisual 50 pd
|Art 16, Law Supporting the Rights of Authors, Composers, Artists and Researchers, 2008|
|Albania||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 21, Law No. 9380 of April 28, 2005 on Copyright & Related Rights|
|Algeria||April 19, 1998||50 pma;
photographs 50 pr
25 pma (death before 1972)
10 pd (photos before 1987)
25 pd (films before 1972)
[photos published 1987 or later 50 pd](y)
|Arts. 54 & 59, Ordinance No. 03-05 of 19 Joumada El Oula 1424 corresponding to July 19, 2003 on Copyright and Related Rights|
Arts. 55-61, Ordonnance n° 10 du 27 Chaual 1417 correspondant au 6 mars 1997
Arts 60, 64, 65, Ordonnance n° 73-14 du 3 avril 1973 relative au droit d'auteur
|Andorra||June 2, 2004||70 pma||Art. 18, Law on Copright and Related Rights of 1999|
|Angola||November 23, 1996||50 pma|
|Antigua and Barbuda||January 1, 1996||50 pma;
computer 50 pr
|s. 10, Copyright Act, 2002|
|Argentina||January 1, 1996||25 pd (photos)
50 pma (movies)
50 pd (anonymous works belonging to an institution)
70 pma (everything else)
|Art. 5, Ley 11.723 del 28 de septiembre de 1933, as modified by Ley 24.870 del 11 de septiembre de 1997|
|Armenia||October 19, 2000||70 pma
|Art. 37, Law on Copyright and Related Rights of June 15, 2006|
|Australia||January 1, 1996*||70 pma;
50 pma (death before 1955)
photographs 50 pr (creation before 1955)
|s. 33, Copyright Act 1968|
|Austria||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
20 pd (photographs published prior to 1932)
20 pr (unpublished photographs created prior to 1932)](g)
|§ 60-61, Federal Law amending the Copyright Act and the Copyright Amendment Act 1980 (Copyright Amendment Act 1996), Federal Law on Copyrights on Literary and Artistic Works and Related Rights (Copyright Act) (as last amended by Federal Law Gazette (BGBl) I No. 58/2010);|
[§ 1(2), Federal Law amending the Copyright Act (Copyright Amendment Act 1972)]
|Azerbaijan||June 4, 1999||50 pma||Art. 25, Law on Copyright and Related Rights of 5 June 1996|
|Bahamas||January 1, 1996||Berne|
|Bahrain||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 37, Law No. 22 of 2006 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights|
|Bangladesh||January 1, 1996||60 pma
Photos, cinema 60 pd
|Copyright law of 2000, Sec. 18-23|
|Barbados||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 10, Copyright Act, 1998 (Cap. 300) (as revised up to 2006)|
|Belarus||December 12, 1997||50 pma||Art. 20, Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011, on Copyright and Related Rights|
|Belgium||January 1, 1996*(a)||70 pma||Art. 2, Loi relative au droit d’auteur et aux droits voisins du 30 juin 1994|
|Belize||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 10, Copyright Act Ch. 252 (2000)|
|Benin||January 1, 1996||50 pma|
|Bhutan||November 25, 2004||50 pma||s. 18, Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001|
|Bolivia||January 1, 1996*||50 pma||Art. 18, Ley No 1322 de 13 de abril de 1992|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 84, Law on Copyright and Related Rights (7/02)|
|Botswana||January 1, 1996||50pma
Berne, TRIPS, WCT
|Sec. 10, Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, 2000 (Chapter 68:02, as amended by Act No. 6 of 2006)|
[Cap 68:01, apparently a reproduction of the UK Copyright Act of 1956(v)]
|Brazil||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
[60 pma; artistic photos 60 pr]
|Art. 41, Law no 9610 of 19 February 1998|
[Art. 42, 44, 45, 102 of Law no 5988 of 14 December 1973]
|Brunei||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 14, Emergency (Copyright) Order 1999|
|Bulgaria||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 27, Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights of 1993, as amended up to December 13, 2019|
[Art. 27, Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights of 16 June 1993]
|Burkina Faso||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 34, Law No. 032-99/AN of December 22, 1999, on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property|
|Burundi||January 1, 1996||50 pma|
|Cambodia||October 13, 2004||50 pma||Art. 30, Law on Copyright and Related Rights of 2003|
|Cameroon||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 37, Law No. 2000/011 of December 19, 2000, on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights|
|Canada||January 1, 1996*(b)||50 pma||Copyright Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42, s. 6|
|[50 pma; photographs 50 pr]||An Act to amend the Copyright Act, S.C. 1997, c. 24, s. 7, 54.1|
|Cape Verde||July 7, 1997||50 pma||Art. 19, Lei no. 101/III/90 de 29 de dezembro de 1990|
|Central African Republic||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Chad||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Chile||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
|Art. 10, Ley No 17336 de propriedad intelectual|
|China (People's Republic)||January 1, 1996*(c)||50 pma
photographs 50 pr
|Art. 21, Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China|
|Colombia||January 1, 1996*||80 pma
70 pd if the copyright holder is a legal entity [literary/scientific works 30 pd]
audiovisual works 80 pr [30 pr]
|Art. 21, 26, Law No. 23 of January 28, 1982, on Copyright (as amended up to Law No. 1835 of June 9, 2017)|
Art. 4, Law No. 1915 of July 12, 2018, on Amendments to Law No. 23 of 1982 and Establishing Other Provisions on Copyright and Related Rights
|Comoros||April 17, 2005||Berne|
|Congo (Democratic Republic)||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Congo (Republic)||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Costa Rica||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||Art. 58, Law No. 6683 of October 14, 1982, on Copyright and Related Rights (as amended up to Law No. 8834 of May 3, 2010)|
|Côte d'Ivoire||January 1, 1996||99 pma
99 pd (anonymous/pseudonymous, posthumous)
99 pd (photo, audiovisual, applied art)
|Art. 45, Loi no. 96-564 du 25 juillet 1996|
|Croatia||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 99, Copyright and Related Rights Act 197/2003|
|Cuba||January 1, 1996*||50 pma|
|Cyprus||January 1, 1996||50 pma
|s. 4, Copyright Law 1976[dead link]|
|Czech Republic||January 1, 1996||70 pma
[50 pma; films 50 pd; photos 10 pma]
|Art. 27, Law No. 121/2000 Coll.|
[Sec 33, Act No. 35 of March 25, 1965, as amended through the Act of September 27, 1995, No. 237]
|Denmark||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||s. 63, Act on Copyright 1995|
|Djibouti||January 1, 1996||50 pma; films 50 pd; photos 25 pr
[25 pma; films 25 pd; photos 25 pr]
|Ch. 3, Loi n°154/AN/06/5ème L relative à la protection du droit d'auteur et du droit voisin
[Art. 59, Loi n°114/AN/96/3e L relatif à la protection du droit d'auteur (also here)]
|Dominica||January 1, 1996||70 pma||s. 11, Copyright Act 2003[dead link]|
|Dominican Republic||January 1, 1996*||50 pma||Art. 21, Ley sobre Derecho de Autor del 24 de julio de 2000|
|Ecuador||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||Art. 80, Ley No 83 de Propiedad Intelectual (1998)[dead link]|
|Egypt||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 150, Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights|
|El Salvador||January 1, 1996*||50 pma||Art. 86, Decreto Legislativo No. 604 del 15 de julio de 1993[dead link]|
|Equatorial Guinea||June 26, 1997||Berne|
|Estonia||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|§ 38, Copyright Act (in force)|
[§ 38, autoriõiguse seadus (passed 11.11.1992)]
|Eswatini||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Copyright Act No. 36 of 1912|
|Fiji||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Copyright Act 1999|
|Finland||January 1, 1996||70 pma||s. 43, Law No. 404/1961, as amended by Law No. 1654/1995 (fi, en)|
|France||January 1, 1996*(a)||70 pma
[50 pma; music 70 pma;
|Art. L123-1 to L123-12 , LégiFrance : Code de la propriété intellectuelle : Chapitre III : Durée de la protection|
|Gabon||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS, WCT|
|Gambia||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Copyright Act 2004|
[Copyright Act 1956](v)
|Georgia||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 31, Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights of 22 June 1999|
|Germany(d)||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||§ 64, Urheberrechtsgesetz, as amended by the Law of 23 June 1995|
|Ghana||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 12, Copyright Act, 2005|
|Greece||January 1, 1996||70 pma
[50 pma, death before 1943]
|Art. 29, Law 2121/1993, as amended through 2007, espec. Law 2557/1997, art. 8
[Art. 29, Law 2121/1993; and Law 2387/1920, as amended]
|Grenada||February 22, 1996||Berne, TRIPS||Copyright Act, dated 3 February 1989|
|Guatemala||January 1, 1996||75 pma||Art. 43, Decreto No. 33-98[dead link], as modified by Art. 13, Decreto No. 56-2000|
|Guinea||January 1, 1996||TRIPS, WCT|
|Guinea-Bissau||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Guyana||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Copyright Act 1956, extended by Copyright (British Guyana) Order No. 79 of 1966(v)|
|Haiti||January 11, 1996*||Berne, TRIPS||Decree of January 9, 1968, relating to Copyright in Literary, Scientific and Artistic Works|
|Honduras||January 1, 1996||75 pma|
|Hong Kong(e)||January 1, 1996||50 pma
photographs 50 pr
|s. 17, Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528)|
|Hungary||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
[50 pma, death before 1944](u)
|Art. 31, Act No. LXXVI of 1999[dead link]|
[Art. 15, Act No. III of 1969 as last amended by Act No. LXXII of 1994]
|Iceland||January 1, 1996||70 pma [50 pma]||Art. 43, Act No. 73/1972, as amended by Art. 4, Act No. 145/1996[dead link]|
|India||January 1, 1996||60 pma
photographs 60 pd
50 pma (death before 1941)
50 pd (photos before 1941)
50 pr (photos before 1908)(t)
|s. 22, Copyright Act, 1957|
s. 25, Copyright Act, 1957
|Indonesia||January 1, 1996||70 pma; film 50 pd; photos 50 pd
[50 pma; film 50 pd; photos 25 pd]
|Arts. 58 & 59, Law No. 28 of 2014|
[Art. 27, Law No. 6 of April 12, 1982, as amended by Law No. 7 of September 19, 1987]
|Iran||none†||30 pma (death before 22 August 1980); 50 pma;
photographs and films 30 pd
|Arts. 12 & 16, Copyright Law of 12 January 1970|
|Iraq||none†||50 pma||s. 2(11), Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 2004/83|
|Ireland||January 1, 1996||70 pma||s. 24, Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000|
|Israel||January 1, 1996||70 pma
sound recordings 50 pr
photos 50 pr]
|Copyright Statute from 2007 (effective for all works May 25, 2008 and later)|
[Art. 3, Copyright Act 1911]
|Italy||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
simple photos 20 pr
films 50 pd
photos 50 pr
simple photos 20 pr
+ wartime extensions]
|Arts. 25 and 92, Law No. 633 of 22 April 1941, amended through 2001 (updated thru 2003)|
[Arts 25, 32, 32bis, 92, Law No. 633 of April 22, 1941, amended up to Legislative Decree No. 95 of February 2, 2001
Decreto legislativo luogotenenziale n. 440, July 20, 1945 (extended term by six years for works published before August 16, 1945 and still under copyright on that date)]
|Jamaica||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 10, Copyright Act 1993[dead link]|
|Japan||January 1, 1996*(f)||50 pma(f)||Art. 51, Law No. 48 of 6 May 1970|
|Jordan||July 28, 1999||50 pma||Art. 30, Law No. 22 of 1992[dead link], as amended|
|Kazakhstan||April 12, 1999||50 pma||Art. 28, Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights of 1996|
|Kenya||January 1, 1996||50 pma;
photographs 50 pd
|s. 23(2), Copyright Act, 2001|
[Art. 4 and 6, Derecho de autor (Cap. 130), 1991 consolidation[dead link]]
|Kiribati||January 2, 2018||50 pma(v)||Copyright Act 1956|
Copyright Ordinance, Cap 16
|Korea, North||April 28, 2003||Berne|
|Korea, South||January 1, 1996||50 pma
30 pma (death before 1957)(s)
|Art. 36, Copyright Act of 30 December 1989[dead link]|
|Kuwait||January 1, 1996||TRIPS||Decree Law No. 64 of 1999 concerning Intellectual Property Rights|
|Kyrgyzstan||December 20, 1998||50 pma||Art. 27, Law on Copyright and Related Rights of 16 December 1997[dead link]|
|Laos||March 14, 2012||unknown|
|Latvia||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 36, Copyright Law of 6 April 2000[dead link]|
Art. 28, Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights of 11 May 1993
|Lebanon||January 1, 1996||50 pma
50 pd (photos published before 1949)(A)
|Art. 49, Loi sur la protection de la propriété littéraire et artistique (no. 75 du 3 avril 1999)[dead link]|
Art. 153, Law No. 2385 of January 17, 1924
|Lesotho||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 13, Copyright Order No. 13, 1989|
[Copyright Act 1956](v)
|Libya||January 1, 1996||25 pma with 50-year minimum
(1968 rules, out of date)
|Law No. 7 of 1984, as amended, based on Law No. 9 of 1968|
|Liechtenstein||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 32, Law of 19 May 1999[dead link]|
[Art. 36, Law of 26 October 1928][dead link]
|Lithuania||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 34, Law No. IX-1355 (2003)|
[Art. 536, Civil Code as modified by Law No. I-459 (1994)]
|Luxembourg||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
|Art. 9, Law of 18 April 2001[dead link]|
[Art. 2, Law of 29 March 1972]
|Macau(e)||January 1, 1996||50 pma
photographs 50 pr
|Art. 21, Decree-Law 43/99/M of August 16, 1999|
|Madagascar||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 52, Loi no. 94-036 portant sur la propriété littéraire et artistique|
|Malawi||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 13, Copyright Act, 1989|
|Malaysia||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 17, Copyright Act 1987[dead link]|
|Maldives||January 1, 1996||TRIPS|
|Mali||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 90, Loi No. 8426/AN-RM|
|Malta||January 1, 1996||70 pma||s. 4(2), Copyright Act, 2000[dead link]|
|Mauritania||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Mauritius||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 12, Copyright Act 1997[dead link]|
|Mexico||January 1, 1996||100 pma
30 pma (death before 1952)
3 years pd (publication ca. 1928-13 January 1948 without registration)
|Art. 29, Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor (1996) (term amended from 75 pma to 100 pma in 2003)|
|Micronesia||October 7, 2003||50 pma||§ 113, Federated States of Micronesia Code, Title 35|
|Moldova||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 23, Law No. 39 of 07.02.2010|
[Art. 17, Law No. 293-XIII of 23 November 1994]
|Monaco||January 1, 1996||WCT|
|Mongolia||January 29, 1997||50 pma||Art. 17, Law on Copyright of 1993[dead link]|
|Montenegro(h)||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 100, Law on Copyright and Related Rights|
|Morocco||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 25, Loi no. 2-00 relative aux droits d’auteur et droits voisins[dead link]|
|Mozambique||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 22, Law No. 4/2001[dead link]|
[Portuguese Code of Copyright, Decree-Law No. 46,980 of April 27, 1966
(enacted in Mozambique by Decree No. 679/71 of December 7)]
|Myanmar||January 1, 1996||TRIPS|
|Namibia||January 1, 1996||50 pma;
photographs 50 pd
|s. 3, Copyright Act 98 of 1978, as amended by s. 3, Act 52 of 1984, s. 3, Act 125 of 1992 and by s. 52, Act 38 of 1997|
|Nepal||April 23, 2004||50 pma||Pustun Pradhan (2004). "Nepal's New Law on Copyright: Some Reflections", UNESCO e-Copyright Bulletin, January–March 2004.|
|Netherlands(i)||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
||Art. 37, Copyright Act, 1912[dead link], as amended by the Acts of 21 December 1995
|New Zealand||January 1, 1996*||50 pma;
computer 50 pr
photos 50 pr (creation before 1944)
|s. 22, Copyright Act 1994|
Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008
s. 8, Copyright Act 1962 (terms before 1995)
|Nicaragua||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||Art. 27, Ley de Derecho de Autor y Derechos Conexos (No. 312)[dead link]|
|Niger||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 22, Ordonnance no. 93-027 du 30 mars 1993|
|Nigeria||January 1, 1996||70 pma
photographs 50 pd
|Schedule I, C28-30 Copyright Act (Cap. 28) 2004|
|North Macedonia||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 44, Law on Copyright and Related Rights No. 47/96 as amended|
|Norway||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||s. 40, Act No. 2 of 12 May 1961[dead link]|
|Oman||July 14, 1999||70 pma
A/V works 95 pd
|Arts. 26-30, Royal Decree 65-2008 (also here)|
[Arts. 7-8, Decree No. 47/1996
|Pakistan||January 1, 1996||50 pma;
photographs, music, film 50 pd
|s. 3, Copyright Ordinance, 1962, amended in 2000|
|Palau||none‡||50 pma||c. 16, Republic of Palau Copyright Act of 2003|
|Panama||June 8, 1996*||50 pma||Art. 42, Ley No. 15 de 8 de agosto de 1994[dead link]|
|Papua New Guinea||June 9, 1996||50 pma||s. 17, Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2000|
|Paraguay||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||Art. 47, Ley No. 1328/98 de Derecho de Autor y Derechos Conexos[dead link]|
|Peru||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
[50 pma, death before 1946; 25 pd, organizational works before 1971; 20 pd, photographs before 1976;15 pd, anonymous works before 1981]
|Art. 52, Decreto legislativo 822 del 23 de abril de 1996[dead link]|
[Art. 21, 24, 26, 27 and 30 of the Law of 1961]
|Philippines||January 1, 1996||50 pma;
photographs 50 pd
|s. 213, Intellectual Property Code|
|Poland||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 36, Act of 4 February 1994, amended through Copyright Law, 1 April 2004|
[Art. 36, Law of February 4, 1994, on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights[dead link]]
|Portugal||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
|Art. 31, Code of Copyright and Related Rights, as last amended by Law No. 16/2008 of April 1, 2008|
|Qatar||January 13, 1996||50 pma||s. 15, Law No. 7 of 2002[dead link]|
|Romania||January 1, 1996||70 pma
50 pma (death before 1946)(r)
|Art. 27, Law No. 8 of March 14, 1996[dead link]|
|Russia||January 1, 1996||70 / 74 pma (general case / author worked during the Great Patriotic War or participated in it)
[50 / 54 pma]
|Art. 1281 of 2008 Civil Code and Art. 6 of Law 231-FL: Law 230-FZ, 2006; Law 231-FZ, 2006|
[by Art. 27 of the N 5351-1 law of 1993  valid at URAA date]
|Rwanda||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Copyright Act No. 8 of 2000|
[Copyright Act, Chapter 366 of 1919, as amended in 1956](v)
|St. Lucia||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 10, Copyright Act, 1995[dead link]|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||January 1, 1996||75 pma||s. 8, Copyright Act, 2003|
|Samoa||July 21, 2006||75 pma||s. 16, Copyright Act 1998, amended in 2008|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||June 14, 2016†||50 pma||Art. 25, Law No. 46 980 of April 27, 1966, effective 1972|
|Saudi Arabia||August 2, 2004||50 pma||Royal Decree No. M/41 dated August 30, 2003|
|Senegal||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS|
|Serbia(j)||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 100, Law on Copyright and Related Rights|
|Seychelles||April 26, 2015||50 pma;
50 pd (audiovisual)
|s. 19, Copyright Act, 2014 (Act No. 5 of 2014)|
|Singapore||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Intellectual Property Office of Singapore|
|Slovakia||January 1, 1996||70 pma||§ 18, Act No. 383/1997[dead link]|
|Slovenia||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 59, Copyright and Related Rights Act of 30 March 1995, as last amended in December 2006|
|Solomon Islands||July 26, 1996||50 pma||s. 3, Copyright Act (Ch. 138)|
|Somalia||none‡||30 pma||Art. 24, Law No. 66 of 1977|
|South Africa||January 1, 1996*(k)||50 pma||s. 3(2), Copyright Act, 1978[dead link]|
|Spain||January 1, 1996*||70 pma
80 pma (if artist died before Dec 7, 1987)(p)
|Art. 23, |
|Sri Lanka||January 1, 1996||70 pma
audiovisual 70 pd
applied art 25 pr
50 pma (death before 1953)
films 50 pd (pub. before 1953)
photos 25 pr (made before 1978)
|s. 13, Intellectual Property Act, No. 36 of 2003; also here|
[s. 19, Code of Intellectual Property Act No. 52 of 1979 (also here)]
|Sudan||December 28, 2000||50 pma
photographs 25 pd
|s. 13, Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 1996[dead link]|
|Suriname||January 1, 1996||Berne, TRIPS||(in Dutch) WET van 22 maart 1913, houdende nieuwe regeling van het auteursrecht (G.B. 1913 no. 15), gelijk zij luidt na de daarin aangebrachte wijzigingen bij G.B. 1915 no. 78, G.B. 1946 no. 2, G.B. 1946 no. 77, G.B. 1959 no. 76, S.B. 1980 no. 116, S.B. 1981 no. 23.|
|Sweden||January 1, 1996*||70 pma||Art. 43, Act 1960:729[dead link], as modified by Act 1995:1273|
|Switzerland||January 1, 1996*(a)||70 pma
50 pma (death before 1943)(q)
|Syria||June 11, 2004||50 pma||Arts. 22 & 23, Law No. 12/2001|
|Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)||January 1, 2002*(c)||TRIPS|
|Tajikistan||March 9, 2000||50 pma||Art. 17, Law No. 726, 13 November 1998, revised by Law No. 27 of 1 August 2003|
|Tanzania||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 14, Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 1999|
|Thailand||January 1, 1996*||50 pma||s. 19, Copyright Act, B.E. 2537 (1994)[dead link]|
|Timor Leste||January 1, 1996(l)||50 pma||Art. 29, Law No. 19 of 2002|
|Togo||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 36, Loi no. 91-12 portant protection du droit d'auteur, du folklore et des droits voisins|
|Tonga||June 14, 2001||50 pma||s. 13, Copyright Act (Cap. 121)|
|Trinidad and Tobago||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 19, Copyright Act, 1997[dead link]|
|Tunisia||January 1, 1996||50 pma||Art. 18, Loi no. 94-36[dead link]|
|Turkey||January 1, 1996||70 pma||Art. 27, Law No. 5846 of 5 December 1951[dead link]|
|Turkmenistan||May 29, 2016(m)||50 pma||Art. 23, Law No. 257-IV of January 10, 2012, on Copyright and Related Rights|
Art. 1094, Part IV Civil Code, 1998
|Tuvalu||June 2, 2017||50 pma(v)||Copyright Act 1956|
Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 60 of 1973)
|Uganda||January 1, 1996||TRIPS|
|Ukraine||January 1, 1996||70 pma
|Art. 28, Law on Copyright and Related Rights of 2001|
|United Arab Emirates||April 10, 1996||50 pma
[25 pma; photos 10 pd]
|s. 20, Federal Law No. 7 of 2002[dead link]|
[Art. 20, Federal Law No. 40 of the year 1992 for the Protection of Intellectual Works and Copyright]
|United Kingdom||January 1, 1996*(a)(n)||70 pma
sound recordings 50 pd
|s. 12, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended by the Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995|
|Uruguay||January 1, 1996*||50 pma||Art. 14, Law on Copyright No. 9.739 of 17 December 1937|
|Uzbekistan||April 19, 2005||50 pma||Art. 38, Law No. 272-I of 30 August 1996[dead link]|
|Vanuatu||August 24, 2012||50 pma||Art. 19, Copyright and Related Rights No. 42 of 2000, eff. February 8, 2011|
|Vatican City||January 1, 1996||70 pma||N. XII. Legge sil diritto di autore|
|Venezuela||January 1, 1996||60 pma
audiovis./photo/broadcast/comp./anon. 60 pd
|Art. 25,Ley sobre el Dercho de Autor as modified by the Decreto del 14 de agosto de 1993[dead link]|
|Vietnam||December 23, 1998(o)||75 pd or 100 pr (shortest)
50 pma all others
|Yemen||April 14, 2008†||30 pma
Cinema 25 pr
Photos 10 pr
Journalistic TV 3 pr
Journalistic radio 2 pr
|قرار جمهوري بالقانون رقم (19) لسنة 1994م (Google translation) (Third-party translation)|
|Zambia||January 1, 1996||50 pma||s. 12, Copyright and Performance Rights Act, 1994|
|Zimbabwe||January 1, 1996||50 pma
photos pre-1967 50 pr
other photos 50 pd
|s. 5, Copyright Act (Chapter 26:1) (1966)[dead link]|
Table notes and references
Dates of restoration were taken from information in US Copyright Office Circular No. 38a, correct as of January 2005, cross-checked and updated by reference to the Membership of the WTO, correct as of December 11, 2005, and to the list of parties to the Berne Convention, correct as of May 30, 2006 (quoted date, in fact the document records Samoa's accession on July 21, 2006). For convenience, dates of restoration for the predecessor countries have been quoted for countries that have become independent since copyright restoration (Montenegro, Timor Leste). Terms of protection were taken from a variety of sources, including WIPO, UNESCO and the University of Pennsylvania (see External links). Where no more specific information is available for a country, an indication of its probable minimum copyright term can be gained from its status as:
- a party to the Berne Convention ("Berne"); minimum term of 50 pma, except for photographs.
- a member of the WTO ("TRIPS"); minimum term of 50 pma.
- a candidate for membership of the European Union ("EU"); term must be 70 pma before accession.
pma = post mortem auctoris, (years) after the death of the author
pd = post divulgationem, (years) after publication
pr = post realization, (years) after creation
- * Countries with a possibility of subsisting US copyrights.
- † WTO observer countries, which are required to start membership negotiations within five years of becoming observers. These countries will be eligible for copyright restoration once they join the WTO, or earlier if they choose to sign the Berne Convention or the WTO Copyright Treaty beforehand.
- ^(a) Bilateral copyright relations between the United States and each of Belgium, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom were established by Presidential Proclamation No. 3 of July 1, 1891 (27 Stat. 981) under the authority of The Chase Act of 1891.
- ^(b) Bilateral copyright relations between the United States and Canada were effective from January 1, 1924.
- ^(c) Bilateral copyright relations between the United States and China were established by treaty effective from January 13, 1904. The People's Republic of China does not consider this treaty to be binding, but the Republic of China (Taiwan) considers it still to be in force. Copyright relations were established between the United States and the People's Republic of China by a Presidential Declaration of March 17, 1992 under the authority of 17 104(b)(5) as modified by the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100-568, 102 Stat. 2853). See "Chinese copyrights" above.
- ^(d) The Federal Republic of Germany is the successor state to the German Democratic Republic and to the German Empire.
- ^(e) The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau have their own status, distinct from that of the rest of China, under international copyright and trade law.
- ^(f) The bilateral copyright relations between the United States and Japan that were established on May 10, 1906 are considered by the US Copyright Office to have been abrogated, and superseded by the adherence of Japan to the Geneva Act of the UCC on April 28, 1956. The abrogation occurred when the US did not include the copyright proclamation in the list of treaties that were to continue in effect, per Article 7(a) of the Treaty of Peace with Japan, which went into effect on April 28, 1952. Article 12 of the same peace treaty included a four-year interim copyright agreement, made explicit by a separate protocol letter, where the US and Japan gave each other's works national treatment. This agreement applied retroactively to works previously covered under older bilateral copyright treaty. Japan timed their ratification of the Universal Copyright Convention so it would enter into effect on the date that the interim agreement expired, April 28, 1956, so that there was never a lapse in copyright relations between the two countries. Works previously protected were thereafter protected under the terms of the UCC, not the terms of the earlier treaties. Some World War II government-owned works may not have had their US copyright restored; see #Wartime copyrights.
- ^(g) The Austrian copyright law of 1936 specified that photographs are copyrighted for a term of 20 years after publication, or 20 years after creation for photographs which were not published within 20 years. The copyright law of 1953 introduced a distinction between photographic works and simple photographs so that photographic works were now covered by the 50 years pma term for artistic works, but it also specified that photographs which were already in the public domain before 1953 and would now be considered photographic works did not become copyrighted again. The copyright law of 1972, which extended the protection period for artistic works to 70 years pma, was not retroactive either. The Austrian copyright law of 1996 restored all works to 70pma as per the EU directive, but this law occurred after the URAA date so the older terms on photographs were still in effect on January 1, meaning pre-1932 photos would not have been restored in the US even though they were in Austria shortly thereafter.
- ^(h) Montenegro is assumed to have succeeded to the copyright obligations of Serbia and Montenegro (see note (j)).
- ^(i) Including the Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands: although Dutch adhesion to the Berne convention only applies to the Kingdom in Europe, membership of the WTO includes the overseas territories.
- ^(j) Serbia is deemed to be a successor state of Serbia and Montenegro, which itself was a successor state to Yugoslavia for international copyright treaties, notably the Berne Convention, effective June 17, 1930.
- ^(k) Bilateral copyright relations between the United States and South Africa were effective from July 1, 1924.
- ^(l) Timor Leste is assumed to retain the copyright status it held as a part of Indonesia, a signatory of the Berne convention.
- ^(m) Turkmenistan has confirmed its status as a successor to the obligations of the USSR under the Geneva Act of the UCC, effective from May 27, 1973, in a bilateral agreement with the United States on October 25, 1993.
- ^(n) The United Kingdom's adherence to the Berne Convention extends to the Isle of Man, effective March 18, 1996.
- ^(o) Restoration of Vietnamese copyrights occurred through Presidential Proclamation No. 7161 of December 23, 1998 [63 Fed. Reg. 71571 (1998)], prior to Vietnam's signature of the Berne Convention on October 26, 2004.
- ^(p) Spain had a copyright term of 80 years p.m.a. from 1879 until 1987 (see the Spanish copyright law from 1879). The [dead link] reduced the term to 60 years, but already running longer terms remained valid. The [dead link], which implemented  EU directive 93/98/EEC, increased the term again to 70 years, but again, already running longer terms remained valid.
- ^(q) Switzerland had a copyright term of 50 years p.m.a. until 1993, and the extension to 70 years p.m.a. made in 1993 did not restore already expired copyrights, meaning that the copyright of works by Swiss creators who died before 1943 didn't get restored in the US, as the copyright of those works was already expired at the date of restoration.
- ^(r) Romania extended its copyright term from 50 years p.m.a. to 70 years on June 25, 1996. This means that on the URAA date of January 1, 1996, the shorter term of 50 years was still valid. However, some of these works appeared to become re-copyrighted on June 25, 1996 within Romania as the term extension explicitly also applied to works on which the copyright had already expired (article 149(3)). However, the apparent retroactivity of that law was later deemed to be a technical legislative mistake, as it was intended to not be retroactive, and the law was modified to add the word not to the clause in 2004 (see the current law, article 149(3)). This created some legal uncertainty, but at least one court case ruled according to the actual intent and not the original wording of the 1996 law, meaning it is generally deemed that the copyright extensions were not retroactive within Romania.
- ^(s) South Korea introduced a 30-years-p.m.a. term in its copyright law of 1957, which was extended in 1987 to 50 years. See Yunjeong Choi, Development of Copyright Protection in Korea: its History, Inherent Limits, and Suggested Solutions, Brook. J. Int'l L. 28 (2003), pp. 643-673. The transitional provisions laid out in the addendum of the 1986 law[dead link] (for the entry in force on July 1, 1987) clarified that the new law (and thus its longer term) did not apply to works whose copyright term under the earlier law had already expired.
- ^(t) India extended its general term from 50 to 60 years in Act 13 of 1992, effective from December 28, 1991. The change was made in part to further protect the works of Rabindranath Tagore, who died in 1941. Works that had expired prior to December 28, 1991 remained in the public domain. See Significance, History and Development of Copyright Law, Dr. Bharat B. Das, p 352 (PDF link), and The life and death of a copyright, N.A.K. Sarma. Therefore, works that expired before December 28, 1991 (effectively, before January 1, 1991) were in the public domain in India on the URAA date of January 1, 1996. For original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, this is where the author died before January 1, 1941, and for cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organisations, this would mean works published before January 1, 1941. India extended the copyright term for photos from 50 years from creation to 50 years from publication in 1957 (Commons discussion).
- ^(u) Hungary extended its copyright term from 50 to 70 years p.m.a. on July 1, 1994, but did not restore any copyrights that had already expired.(article 56(1)) This means that on the URAA date of January 1, 1996, works where the author died before 1944 were still in the public domain in Hungary, and such copyrights were not restored in the US However, Hungary later restored these copyrights to the full 70 p.m.a. term prior to joining the EU, as the 1999 copyright law explicitly applied the newer term to works on which the copyright had already expired (article 108(1)).
- ^(v) Many former dependent territories of the United Kingdom continued to use the UK copyright legislation, usually the Copyright Act 1956, as the basis of their copyright law after independence. Some have since drafted replacement legislation, but others still use the older UK laws.[dead link]
- ^(w) Poland extended its copyright term to 50 years p.m.a. on May 23, 1994,[dead link] and then to 70 years on January 1, 2003. This means that on the URAA date of January 1, 1996, the shorter term of 50 years was still valid. However, some of these works then became re-copyrighted in 2003 within Poland (and later the European Union) as the term extension explicitly also applied to works on which the copyright had already expired (article 124).
- ^(x) The original copyright law of Argentina (Ley 11.723) from September 30, 1933 had a general copyright term of 30 years p.m.a. In 1957, this was increased to 50 years p.m.a. by Decreto-Ley 12.063/57, published in the Boletin Oficial on October 11, 1957. In 1997, the term was again increased to 70 years p.m.a. by Ley 24.870, published in the Boletin Oficial on September 16, 1997. This extension to 70 years re-copyrighted in Argentina works on which the earlier 50-year term had already expired, but the new 70-year term had not expired yet (see Ley 24.870, or art. 84 of the current Argentine copyright law). On the URAA date of January 1, 1996, Argentina thus still had a general copyright term of 50 years p.m.a.
- ^(y) The April 3, 1973 copyright law of Algeria (published here, pages 342-347), Articles 60-67, gave most works a 25 pma term, photos a 10 year term from publication, and cinematographic works 25 years from publication. The law of March 6 1997 (published here, pages 3-18), Articles 55-61, changed to 50 pma for most works, with photos and audiovisual works being 50 years from publication. However, per Article 159, it was not retroactive, meaning works that expired on or before January 1, 1997 (i.e. photos published before 1987, cinematographic works published before 1972, and works of authors who died before 1972) remained in the public domain, including on the URAA date in 1998, meaning those works are still PD in both Algeria and the US A new copyright law in 2003[dead link] mostly kept the same terms, though photographs changed from 50 years from publication to 50 years from creation, meaning photographs taken more than 50 years ago but not published until 1987 or later are PD in Algeria, but not the US (since they were protected in Algeria in 1998). The 2003 law, per Article 161[dead link], was also not retroactive.
- ^(z) France's general copyright term was 50 pma on the URAA date of January 1, 1996, except for musical compositions, which were 70 pma since 1985.[dead link] Those terms were extended for wartime periods: 6 years and 152 days for works published before January 1, 1921 that were not in the public domain on February 3, 1919; 8 years and 120 days for works published before January 1, 1948 that were not in the public domain on August 13, 1941; and a 30-year addition for authors who "died for France" as recorded in the death certificate (articles 123-8, -9, and -10[[dead link] also see fr:Prorogations de guerre). These extensions were added together, and need to be taken into account for URAA restoration determinations. France then retroactively extended their general terms to 70 pma effective April 1, 1997.[dead link] Per 2007 rulings of the Court of Cassation involving works of Claude Monet (died 1926) and Giovanni Boldini (died 1931), the wartime extensions were not used to extend beyond 70 years unless a longer term had started running by July 1, 1995. The extensions are therefore mostly moot in France today, except possibly for authors who died for France, and authors of musical compositions, if the longer terms were already running on July 1, 1995.
- ^(A) Under the Lebanese copyright law of 1924, photographs were copyrighted for 50 years after their original publication. Photos published before 1946 were thus not subject to the URAA copyright restorations in the US
Specific national regulations
Article 9 of Algeria's Ordonnance N°97-10 du 27 Chaoual 1417 correspondant au 6 mars 1997 relative aux droits d'auteur et aux droits voisins. states that: "Works of the State made licitly accessible to the public may be freely used for non-profit purposes, subject to respect for the integrity of the work and indication of its source. By "works of the State", in this article, are meant works produced and published by the various organs of the State, local communities, or public establishments of an administrative character." (original is in French.) In short, they are available for non-commercial use – which is considered unfree on Wikipedia.
The UK Copyright service has a good summary. The legal basis is the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, and subsequent modifications and revisions. In particular for literary, artistic works, copyright ends 70 years after the last surviving author dies or if unknown, 70 years after creation or publication.
The UK Office of Public Sector Information, formerly HMSO, has told us:
- Crown copyright protection in published material lasts for fifty years from the end of the year in which the material was first published. Therefore material published [fifty-one years ago], and any Crown copyright material published before that date, would now be out of copyright, and may be freely reproduced throughout the world.
Notes and References
- ^ The term of copyright protection in most countries runs until December 31 in a given year: see, for example, Article 7(5) of the Berne Convention. The relevant provision of US law is "Duration of copyright: Terminal date", 17 U.S.C. §305.
- ^ Pub. L. No. 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809.
- ^ "Approval and entry into force of Uruguay Round Agreements", 19 U.S.C. §3511
- ^ The régime of restored copyrights was introduced by Section 334 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1993, (P.L. 103-182). By restoring copyright on certain motion pictures which had entered the public domain it foreshadowed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 (Pub. L. No. 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809).
- ^ "Copyright in Restored Works", 17 U.S.C. §104A(h)(3).
- ^ The US Copyright Office warns that registration should be assumed to be necessary to enforce copyrights originating in countries that are members of the WTO but not signatories of the Berne Convention: "Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the URAA", US Copyright Office Circular No. 38b, July 2006 (PDF file).
- ^ Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990: Pub. L. No. 101-650, 104 Stat. 5089.
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(h)(6)(D).
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(h)(8).
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(h)(2).
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(h)(6)(B).
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(a)(2).
- BGH GRUR 1988, 33 (PDF file, p. 16); OLG Köln AfP 2000, 583. See, e.g.,
- ^ §137f UrhG. See OLG Hamburg 3.3.2004 5 U 159/03 U-Boot-Foto for the retroactive effect of copyright extension to works that had fallen into the public domain in Germany.
- ^ The ownership of a restored copyright is determined by the law of the source country: 17 U.S.C. 104A(b).
- ^ "International Copyright Relations of the United States", US Copyright Office Circular No. 38a, August 2003.
- ^ "Changes in Japanese society and the course of reform of the copyright system: Centennial of the Copyright Law in Japan"
- ^ 17 U.S.C. §104A(a)(1)(B).
- ^ "Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 1978", 17 U.S.C. §302 and "[Duration of copyright: Subsisting copyrights", 17 U.S.C. §304, as amended by the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (Pub. L. No. 105-298, 112 Stat. 2827). See also "Duration of Copyright: Provisions of the Law Dealing with the Length of Copyright Protection", US Copyright Office Circular No. 15a, January 2004; and "Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the URAA", US Copyright Office Circular No. 38b, July 2006 (PDF file).
- ^ "Authors or proprietors, entitled; aliens"
- ^ "International Copyright Relations of the United States", US Copyright Office Circular No. 38a, August 2003.
- ^ "Subject matter of copyright: National origin", 17 U.S.C. §§104(a) and "Duration of copyright: Works created but not published or copyrighted before January 1, 1978", 17 U.S.C. §303.
- ^ Propriedad intelectual (en Argentina).
- ^ "Chapter 1 - Circular 92 | US Copyright Office".
- ^ As of January 2021, the status of East Timor, Palau, Somalia and South Sudan is stated as "unclear".
- ^ See 2005 statement by Jimbo Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, and the 2012 RFC confirming this position.
- ^ Kiribati Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights), WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2018, retrieved 2018-11-05
- commons:Commons:Copyright rules by territory
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
- List of countries' copyright length
- Wikipedia:Public domain
- WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
United States copyright law
- Copyright Act of 1909 from MegaLaw
- Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, Cornell University (Archived version)
Other national copyright laws
- Collection of laws for electronic access - National laws from WIPO
- Collection of national copyright laws from UNESCO
- Summary of copyright terms from the University of Pennsylvania, with links to national laws
- Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute; collection of laws of Pacific countries