Copyrights in Lebanon are protected by Artistic and Literary Ownership Law No. 75 which was enacted on April 3, 1999 and entered into force on June 6, 1999.
The protection of this Law shall apply to every production of the human spirit be it written, pictorial, sculptural, manuscript or oral, regardless of its value, importance or purpose and the mode or form of its expression.
According to the Law, the author of any artistic or literary work shall, as a result of the creation of the work, have an absolute property right over his work and shall reserve all his rights without having to follow any formalities. This is also in line with Lebanon’s obligations under the provisions of the Berne Convention which provides that protection be granted without any need for formality.
However, registration of copyright is recommended in Lebanon, as it would facilitate the burden of proof in legal proceedings.
Treaties & Conventions
Lebanon is a member of Bern Convention, Brussels Convention (Signature), Madrid Agreement (Indications of Source), Nice Agreement, Paris Convention (PC), Patent Law Treaty (Signature), Rome Convention, WIPO Convention and WTO (observer).
Scope of Protection
The protection of this Law shall apply, among other works, to:
Books, archives, pamphlets, publications, printed material and other literary, scientific and artistic writings;
Lectures, addresses and other oral works;
Audiovisual works and photographs;
Musical compositions with or without words;
Dramatic or dramatico-musical works;
Choreographic works and pantomimes;
Drawings, sculpture, engraving, ornamentation, weaving and lithography;
Illustrations and drawings related to architecture;
Computer programs whatever their language and including preliminary work;
Maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science;
Any kind of plastic art work whether intended for industry or not.
Translations, adaptations, transformations and arrangements of music;
Collections of literary or artistic works and compilations of data, whether in machine-readable or other form, provided that they are authorized by the copyright holder or his public or private successors and that by reason of the selection and arrangement of their contents they constitute intellectual creations.
Limitation on Protection
The following shall be excluded from the protection provided by this Law:
Laws, legislative decrees, decrees and decisions issued by all public authorities and official translations thereof;
Judicial decisions of all kinds and official translations thereof;
Speeches delivered in public assemblies and meetings. The authors of speeches and presentations shall enjoy the sole right of collecting and publishing such lectures and presentations;
Ideas, data and abstract scientific facts;
Artistic folkloric works of all kinds. However, works inspired by folklore shall enjoy protection.
Copyright-able works have to be deposited with the Intellectual Property Protection Office at the Ministry of Economy and Trade. Simultaneously, any author, producer or publisher of any book or publication must send to the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education five copies of the said work.
Registration is possible for nationals and foreigners.
Infringements are prosecuted before the Civil Court and infringers will be penalized by a fine or imprisonment.
Registration Procedure & Time Frame
Registration process takes usually a period of 2 weeks to be completed, after which the relevant certificate is issued within 2 weeks.
The economic rights relating to copyright are of limited duration, and shall be the life of the author and 50 years after his death, to be computed from the end of the year in which the death has occurred.
In the case of posthumous works or works published in the name of a legal person, the term of protection shall be 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the work was published.
Authors and holders of related rights or their universal or particular successors may assign the management of their rights and the collection, in whole or in part, of royalties due to civil associations or companies formed among them.
Assignment shall be made by way of a written power of attorney drafted before a notary public and explicitly stating all the rights the management of which are assigned to the association or company.
The power of attorney shall be limited in time and may include all or part of the present or future works of the author or the holder of related rights.
Application for Copyright
1- Power of Attorney duly notarized & consularized up to the Lebanese Consulate.
2- Name, address, business and nationality of Applicant/s.
3- Deed of Assignment, if the applicant is not the author (Notarized & Consularized).
4- A brief description of the copyright.
5- Four copies of the work.