Oman Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights
Decree No. 37/2000: The Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights
Decree No. 47/1996: Promulgating the Copyright Law
Decree No. 37/2000
The Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights
Decree No. 37/2000
For Issuing the Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights
We Kabous Bn Said Sultan of Oman
after reviewing the public order law issued by the Sultanic Decree No. 101/96
the law of the protection of copyright law issued by the Sultanic Decree No. 47/96
and according to what the public interest necessitates.
Decreed what follows:
Article 1: The rules of the enclosed law of the protection of copyright and neighboring rights shall be put into effect.
Article 2: The minister of commerce and industry shall issue the bylaws and regulations needed to implement the rules of this law.
Article 3: Cancellation of the mentioned Sultanic Decree No. 47/96.
Article 4: This decree shall be published in the official gazette and shall take effect from its publication date.
Kabous Bn Said
Sultan of Oman
Issued: 17th of Safar 1421 A.H
21th of May 2000 A.D
Official gazette issue No. (672)
The Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights
In applying the rules of this law, the following words and phrases will have the meanings opposite them unless the context of text necessitates otherwise.
* Author: The natural person who created the work.
* Work: Any innovative literary, scientific or artistic work.
* Audio-visual work: Any work prepared as to be seen and heard at the same time and which contains a combination of connected pictures accompanied by voices which are recorded on suitable means and which is displayed using suitable apparatus.
* Collective work: A work which is created by a group under the guidance of a natural or judicial person in such a way that it becomes impossible to separate the work of each of the participants and differentiate it from the work of the others. The natural or judicial person who guided and arranged the innovation of this work will assume alone the copyright of this work.
* Common work: A work, which is created by more than one person. If it is not possible to separate the share of any of them from the share of the others in the common work, all of them will be considered owners of the work with each of them having an equal share unless they agree otherwise.
On the other hand if the share of each of them can be separated, then each of them has the right to utilize his own share which he contributed to the work provided that, this utilization would not be harmful to the utilization of the common work unless they agree otherwise.
* Translation: The expression of a work in a language other than that of the original work.
* Publication: To make available to the public copies of the work or the audio recording with the consent of the author or the producer of the audio recording in a quantity that satisfies the reasonable needs of the public through selling, renting or any other method which transfers ownership or possession of the copy of the work or the audio recording or the right of use. The word publication also means making copies of the work or the audio recording available through any electronic means.
* Software: Means the aggregated phrases and instructions, expressed in any language, sign or symbol which are made suitable for use in the computer directly or indirectly in order to reach specific results.
* Folklore: Literary, artistic or scientific works innovated by public groups in the Sultanate in expression of their cultural identity and which are passed from one generation to another and constitute one of essential elements of the traditional national popular heritage. The relevant authority assumes the jurisdiction of the author with respect to the folkloric works to confront distortion, alteration or unlawful commercial exploitation.
Scope of protection
Protection is granted under this law to authors of innovative literary, scientific, artistic and cultural works in general, no matter what the value or nature of the works, the mode of expression used in them or the purpose they were created for. Protection includes specially the authors of the following works:
1. Books, computer software and other written material.
2. Works that are presented orally such as lectures and religious sermons.
3. Theatrical compositions and musical plays.
4. Musical compilations whether or not accompanied by lyrics.
5. Works which are designs of dances and mime.
6. Audio works and audio - visual works.
7. Works of drawing and painting using lines and colors, architecture, sculpture, decorative arts and engraving.
8. Works of applied arts whether as handicraft or industrial works.
9. Illustrative drawings, geographical maps, designs, diagrams and three-dimensional works related to geography, topography architecture and science.
11. The title of the work if the title is distinctive in an innovative manner and not just a common term used to give an indication of the subject of the work.
Protection is granted under this law to:
1. Those who translate a work into another language and also those who summarize it, alter it or otherwise modify it in a manner that makes the work appear in a new form.
2. Groups of works, folkloric expressions of the traditional public heritage, selections and databases if these groups are innovative because of their arrangements or the selection of their contents.
The protection afforded in the above two paragraphs does not in any way infringe the protection enjoyed by the authors of the original works and their successors.
Without prejudice to the rules of articles (2) and (3) protection shall not cover the following works:
1. International treaties, judicial decisions and the groups of official documents as well as their official translation.
2. Published, broadcasted or publicly announced news.
3. Works, which have fallen into the public domain.
Rights of the authors
The rights of the author comprise the following:
1. The moral rights:
1. To attribute his work to himself or to publish it under a pseudonym or without the name of the author.
2. To prohibit any deletion, alteration, addition or any other change to his work without his permission.
The rights listed in the above two paragraphs are not subject to abandonment, disposition or prescription.
2. Financial rights:
1. Reproduction of the work by any means.
2. Translation of the work to another language, summarization, quotation or making any modification to it.
3. Public performance of the work or its conveyance to the public through any means.
4. All forms of financial exploitation of the work including the commercial renting of the work or a copy thereof.
Freedom to use protected works
The following uses of the works are considered legitimate even without the consent of the author as long as the source and the name of the author are clearly indicated:
1. Quotation of some paragraphs of the work in another work in the contest of explanation, illustration or critique within the accepted practices and within what is justified by this objective.
2. Utilization of the work for illustration in education through publication, radio and television programs and recordings or movies for educational goals or for teaching and within the limits that fulfilling this goal necessitates.
3. Reproduction of protected works by public libraries, non commercial documentation centers, educational institutes and scientific and cultural institutions provided that this reproduction and the number of made copies are limited to the needs of their activities and does not prejudice the legitimate rights of the authors.
4. Reproduction of news, political, economical or religious articles that deal with current issues or their publication by newspapers or periodicals as well as broadcast works of similar nature.
5. Publication through the press or other mass media of speeches, lectures, legal pleadings which are presented during the course of legal disputes and other similar works which are presented openly to the public.
Only the author has the right to publish these works in one volume or by any other means he desires.
6. Utilization of the work for personal use only, through reproduction, translation, adaptation, musical distribution, acting, broadcast listening or television viewing or modification thereof using any other means.
7. Accidental mention of the work during a radio or a television presentation dealing with the current events.
Protection Period for Copyright
Financial rights are granted to the author during his lifetime and fifty calendar years starting from the beginning of the first calendar year following his death.
For the common works, the period is calculated as fifty calendar years beginning from the start of the first calendar year following the death of the last of the authors.
Protection of financial right are granted to the author for fifty calendar years from the date of first publication for the following works:
1. Movies, applied art works and photographs.
2. Works published under a pseudonym or without the mention of the name of the author unless the identity of the author becomes known during this period.
3. Works, which are published for the first time after the death of their authors.
If the work consists of several parts, which were published separately at different points in time, each part is to be considered a separate work when it comes to calculating the period of protection.
Assignment of the authors' rights
The author or whoever owns the copyright has the right to assign his financial rights on the work totally or partially to others for free or for a compensation. This transaction must be put into a written contract specifying explicitly, in detail and separately each right subject to the transaction and showing its scope, purpose thereof, the period of exploitation, place and the compensation if applicable.
The rights of single or common authors revert to their legitimate successors after their deaths unless they willed otherwise.
Filing of works
The owner of the right in the literary, artistic or scientific work may file at his own expense one copy of the work at the ministry of commerce and industry. This filing is to be considered as a presumption of ownership. Publication about the work takes place through the method specified by the bylaw.
The minister of commerce and industry shall issue a decree specifying the filing system and the due fees.
These rules do not apply to works published in newspapers and periodic magazines unless these works were published separately.
Means of protecting authors' rights
No seizure shall be permissible on the author's rights in fulfillment of a judgment. However it is permissible to seize copies of the published works.
Furthermore no seizure shall be made on the works whose owners died before their publication, unless it is proven without doubt that they intended to publish them before their deaths.
The competent court may, based on the author's request or the request of whoever owns the author's right or their successors, order the following protective measures:
1. Halting the infringement of any right protected under this law.
2. Seizing copies of the work subject of the infringement and the material used in making these copies.
3. Proving public performance with respect to harmonizing, acting or reciting of a work among the public and halting the continuation of the current display or banning it in the future.
4. Appointing a receiver on the work the subject of dispute, whose job will be the republication, display, manufacture or making of copies of the work. The resulting revenues shall be deposited at the court's safe. Receivership shall end once an agreement is reached among the parties of the dispute or when a ruling is issued by the court.
5. Computing the resulting revenue from publication, or display. If needed an expert may be delegated to perform this task. In all cases revenues are to be seized.
The plaintiff must bring an action regarding the origin of dispute to the court within the next fifteen days to seek judgment regarding the merits of dispute and suitable compensations, otherwise all effects of the adopted measure will vanish.
Protection of performing artists, producers of audio recordings and broadcasting organizations
By performing artists it is meant actors, singers, musicians, dancers and other persons who perform reciting, chanting or playing musical instruments in literary or artistic works whether these works are protected or have fallen into the public domain.
The performing artists shall enjoy the following rights:
1. Moral rights:
1. The right to attribute their performances to themselves.
2. The right to prohibit any distortion, misrepresentation or alteration in their performances.
2. Financial rights.
1. Dissemination of their non-fixated performances or the transmission of the performances to the public.
2. Fixation or recording of their performances which are still non-fixated.
3. To make copies of audio recordings which contain non-approved fixation of their performances.
4. Commercial rental of audio recordings containing their performances.
1. The natural or juridical person who undertakes to affect the recording under his name and responsibility shall be regarded as a producer of an audio recording.
2. Any recording fixated in a physical form which consists of voices whether or not these voices resulted from the performance of an artist shall be considered an audio recording. However it does not include the audio recording accompanying an audio-visual work.
The producers of audio recordings shall enjoy the following rights:
1. Direct and indirect transcription (reproduction) of their recordings.
2. Commercial renting of their recordings.
The rights of performing artists and producers of audio recordings shall continue for fifty calendar years starting from the beginning of the first calendar year following the date of onset of registration, fixation or performance as the case may be.
The broadcasting organizations shall enjoy the following rights over their programs:
1. Fixation or recordation of their programs and transcription thereof.
2. Rebroadcast of their programs using wireless means and their transmission to the public.
The protection period for broadcasting organizations' rights shall continue for twenty calendar years starting from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the recording or fixation was done.
The rules of articles 6,13,14 and 15 shall apply to the rights of performing artists, producers of audio recordings and broadcasting organizations as far as they do not clash with the nature of these rights.
Each person infringing a literary or financial right of an author or the owners of neighboring rights according to the rules of this law shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding tow years and a fine not exceeding tow thousand Omani Riyals or either of these two sentences. Specially it will be considered an infringement if the infringer commits one or more of the following acts:
1. Selling or putting forth for circulation in any form a work protected under this law.
2. Imitating in the Sutlanate of Oman a work published abroad, putting it forth for circulation, exporting it or shipping it abroad knowing that it is imitated.
3. Making the performance, the broadcast transmission or the audio recording available to the public, or making it accessible to the public through a communication network based on computers for a commercial purpose.
4. Unlawfully removing or wiping of any technical protection means regulating or limiting the availability to the public of the work, performing, transmitting, recording, distributing, or importing for the purpose of distributing, transmitting or making available to the public any of the above, under the condition that the perpetrator knows or is able to know of the occurring infringement.
In the case of recidivism the punishment is doubled. In all cases the court shall rule for the seizure of the imitated copies and the apparatus used in the imitation. The courts may, when issuing a guilty verdict, rule for the closure of the establishment used by the imitators.
The rules of this law apply to:
1. The works of the Omani nationals and foreigners whose works, performances and sound recordings are published, acted or displayed for the first time in the Sultanate of Oman or abroad.
2. Works, performances, sound recordings and related rights existing at the time this law came into effect. The elapsed period from the date of event specifying the beginning of the protection period until the time this law takes effect is to be included in the protection period.
Sultanic Decree No. 47/1996
Promulgating the Copyright Law
We Qabous Ben Saeed the Sultan of Oman,
Having perused the Royal Decree No. 26/75 issuing the Law regulating the administrative staff at the State and all amendments thereof; and,
Pursuant to the requirements of the public interest,
We hereby decree the following:
Article 1: The provisions of the attached Law shall be implemented for the protection of copyrights.
Article 2: The Minister of Commerce and Industry shall issue the resolutions necessary for the implementation of the provisions of the said Law.
Article 3: This decree shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall be effective as from the publication date thereof.
Qabous Ben Saeed
Sultan of Oman
Issued on 21st, Moharram, 1417 A. H.
Corresponding to June 8, 1996 A. D
Upon the implementation of this Law, the following words and terms shall have the meanings assigned to them herein unless the context otherwise requires:
* The Author: Any individual who prepares or creates any work of art in the field of Literature, Science or Arts or any written or innovative work of art that is relevant to any of the knowledge domains, to whom such work is attributed by means of stating his name explicitly or implicitly or by any other means, unless evidence proves the contrary.
* Works of Art: All original intellectual innovations expressed in any reproducible manner.
* Audio-visual work of art: Any audio-visual work of art that comprises a set of interrelated photographs which are accompanied by sounds, recorded on suitable material and displayed by suitable sets.
* Collective work of art: It shall be the work of art which a group of individuals take part in compiling under the directives of a natural person or a body corporate where it is impossible to separate and distinguish the work of each of the participants. The natural person or the body corporate which directed and organized the creation of the work of art shall have the exclusive right to exercise and exploit the author's rights.
* Joint work of art: It is the work of art composed by more than one person in such a manner that it would be impossible to separate and distinguish the work of each of the participants apart from those of others, where all of the participants shall be considered as equal partners in the ownership of the work of art unless otherwise agreed by the participants. If it is possible to separate the share of each of the participants, then each of them shall have the right to exploit the part belonging to him separately, provided that this will not be detrimental to the exploitation of the work of art unless it is agreed to the contrary.
* Translation: Expressing a work of art in a language other than the language of the original text.
* Publication: Transmission of the work of art to the public in any manner, means or form.
* Reproduction: Producing a duplicate or more of the work of art in any manner, means or form.
* Quotation: Denotes including paragraphs from one work of art into another in the explanatory or declaratory notes or criticism, which shall be within the limits of the prevailing and applicable customs and within the limits that highlight such an objective provided that the source and the author's name are stated. The same is applicable to the paragraphs quoted from press articles and periodicals in the form of summaries or in the specialized periodicals.
* Computer programs including data bases: Denote all terms and directives expressed by any language, symbol or indication which are prepared to be used directly or indirectly in computers in order to reach definite outcomes.
* Folklore: Denotes all literary, artistic or scientific works of art created by the people in the Sultanate of Oman to express their cultural identity which have been passed from one generation to another and constitute an essential element in the national traditional cultural heritage where the competent authority shall exercise the author's powers as regards the folklore works of art in order to counter deformation, alteration or commercial exploitation.
Scope of Protection
The authors of original works of art in literature, science, arts, and culture in general shall enjoy the protection of this law irrespective of the value of those works of art, the type thereof, the manner of expression or the purpose for which they were created. The said protection shall comprise, in particular, the authors of the following works of art:
1. Books, computer programs and other writings.
2. Works of art delivered orally such as lectures, addresses and sermons.
3. Dramatic works of art and musical plays.
4. Musical works of art whether numbered or not and whether accompanied with words or not.
5. Works of art relating to dance designing and pantomime.
6. Cinematographic, television, radio, audio and audio-visual works of art.
7. Works of art of drawings, painting, architecture, sculpture, ornamentation and engraving.
8. The applied works of art whether handicraft or industrial.
9. Illustrations, geographical maps, plans and sketches and formative works of art relating to geography, topography, architecture and science.
11. The title of the work if it is distinctive and innovative and is not a current term used to denote the topic of the work of art.
The following shall enjoy the protection of this Law:
1. Whoever translated the work of art from one language into another after obtaining the permission of the author, or whoever abridged, amended, modified, explained the work of art or any other way which renders it novel in form.
2. The authors of topics and collections which constitute intellectual innovative works as to selection and arrangement.
The protection specified in the above two paragraphs, shall not violate the protection enjoyed by the authors of the original works of art or their successors.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 2 and 3 above, the protection shall not extend to the following works of art:
1. International conventions, judgements, all official documents as well as official translations thereof.
2. News published, broadcasted or conveyed to the public.
3. All works or art whose ownership has devolved to the public domains.
Irrespective of the above, the said works of art shall enjoy protection if they are distinctive due to innovation, arrangement or any other personal effort that deserves protection.
The copyrights shall be the sole rights of the author unless it is proved to the contrary. Such rights shall include:
1. The right to translate, abridge, explain the work of art or to quote from the same.
2. The right to publish the work of art and to decide the manner of its publication.
3. The right to exploit his work of art financially in any manner he deems fit. No other person shall be entitled to exercise such a right without a written consent of the author or his successors.
Yet referring to the work of art in a radio or television review of the current developments shall not be considered as violating the rights of the author.
4. Reproduction of the work of art in any manner whatsoever.
5. The right to prevent any omission, change, addition or any amendment in his work of art without obtaining a written consent from him or from his successors.
The amendment in the translation of the work of art shall be excluded from the provisions of the previous paragraphs unless if the translator fails to indicate the omissions or changes or if the translation has resulted in damaging the reputation of the author, affected his artistic position or violated the contents of the work of art. In all cases, all amendments made in the translation of the original work of art should be indicated.
The right to use protected works of art
The following exploitations of the works of art shall be legally admitted even without obtaining the consent of the author, provided that the source and the author's name are clearly stated.
1. Quoting paragraphs from the work of art to be included in another work of art.
2. Utilizing the work of art for illustration in teaching by way of publications, programs, broadcasts, television programs or movies for educational or professional training purposes and within the limits necessary for achieving such an objective provided that such exploitation is not aimed at gaining financial profits.
3. Public libraries, non-commercial documentation centres, educational institutions and cultural and scientific institutions shall be entitled to reproduce the protected works of art provided that reproduction and the number of copies are limited to the needs of those institutions, serve their objectives and are not detrimental to the financial exploitation of the work of art or to the legal rights of the author.
4. Reproduction or publication of current political, economic or spiritual articles by newspapers or periodicals as well as broadcast works of a similar nature.
5. Reproduction of any work of art which could be seen or published through photography, television or other mass media shall be entitled to publish the speeches, lectures and pleadings upon considering litigations as well as similar works of art which are delivered publicly or addressed to the public. The author shall have the sole right to publish such works of art in one publication or in any other manner whatsoever.
6. The press and other mass media provided that such reproduction is within the limits of the informatory purposes to be achieved
7. Utilizing the work of art for personal use only by way of reproduction, translation, quotation, musical distribution, acting, hearing, watching on television or any other alteration whatsoever.
The rights for financial exploitation of the work of art shall lapse fifty calendar years from the death of the author. As regards joint works of art, such a period shall be calculated as from the death of the last of the authors alive.
The protection period of the author's rights relating to the following works of art shall lapse after 25 calendar years as from the date of publication.
1. Movies, applied-arts works and photographs.
2. Works of art published under a pseudonym or without bearing the author's name unless the identity of the author is revealed during such period.
3. Works of art which are published, for the first time, after the death of the author.
4. Works of art belonging to public or private body corporates.
In case the work of art comprises several parts which are published separately and at intervals, then each part thereof shall be considered as an independent part as regards computing the protection period.
In case the public interest requires the publication or republication of a work of art which was not published by the heirs of the author or his successors after being officially requested to do so, then the Minister of Commerce and Industry may pass a decision after six months from the date of the official request, to publish the work of art and to fairly compensate the author's successors.
Transfer of the Authors' Rights
The author shall have the right to transfer all or part of his rights in the work of art free of charge or for a consideration provided that such an action should be in writing and should expressly detail the particulars of each independent right, the scope and purpose thereof, the duration, place and consideration, if any.
After the death of the authors, the individual or joint rights thereof, shall devolve to their legal heirs unless their legacies stipulate to the contrary.
The publishers of literary, artistic and scientific works of art which are published in the Sultanate of Oman by means of reproduction, shall file with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at their own expense and prior to distribution thereof, three copies of the work of art and such work of art shall be published in the Official Gazette.
The system regulating filing and the required fees thereof shall be passed under a resolution to be issued by the Minister of Commerce and Industry. Without prejudice to the necessity of filing, whoever does not file shall be penalized with a fine not exceeding OR 100.00. The above provisions shall not be applicable to the works of art which are published in the newspapers, periodic magazines unless such works of art are published separately.
Means of Protecting Authors' Rights
The author's right may not be attached in settlement of a court judgement. However the copies of the published work of art may be attached. Furthermore, the works of art whose authors have died prior to the publication thereof may not be attached unless it is definitely proved that he was willing to publish the same before his death.
The Commercial Disputes Settlement Authority, upon the request of the author or his successors, may order to take the following procedures with regard to any work of art published or displayed without the written consent of the author or his successors:
1. Stopping the publication, display or manufacturing of the work of art.
2. Levying an attachment upon the original work of art, the copies thereof and upon all materials used in this connection.
3. Withholding the revenues yielded from publication or display.
4. Establishing the public performance of a piece of music or acting or delivering a work of art to the public and to prevent continuity of the present display or to ban a future one.
5. Appointing a receiver of the work of art which is subject of the dispute whose duty is to republish, display, manufacture or reproduce copies of the work of art provided that the yielded revenues are deposited with the treasury of the Authority. The receivership shall come to an end upon agreement of the concerned parties or under a decision to be taken by the Authority.
6. Computing the revenues resulting from publication or display shall be under the supervision of an expert who shall be delegated for this purpose if necessary. In all cases, an attachment must be levied on the revenues.
The plaintiff shall refer the dispute to the Authority within the next fifteen days, otherwise the procedures taken will be ineffectual and invalid.
Each of the following shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding Omani Riyals 2000.00 or by any of the said punishments:
1. The infringer upon the author's rights referred to in Articles 5 and 6 hereof whether by way of illegal copying or quoting or falsification by way of printing and publication for sale and trading purposes.
2. Whoever brings to the country, for sale purposes, an imitated or falsified work of art provided he is well aware of the imitation.
3. Whoever imitates, in Oman, a foreign work of art, sells it, displays it for sale or attends to shipping it abroad provided that he is well aware of the imitation.
4. Whoever discloses or facilitates the disclosure of computer programs prior to the publication thereof.
In case the infringer repeats such an act, the punishment shall be doubled and in all cases, the court shall pass an order to confiscate the imitated copies as well as the articles used for the same. Moreover, the court may, upon conviction, pass an order to close the enterprise used by the imitators.
The provisions hereof shall be applicable to the works of art of Omani nationals and foreigners, which are published, acted or displayed for the first time in the Sultanate of Oman.
They are also applicable to the works of art of Omani nationals which are published, acted or displayed abroad for the first time.
As regards the works of art of foreigners which are published abroad for the first time, they shall not be protected under this Law unless they are protected abroad. Protection in the Sultanate of Oman shall be on the basis of reciprocity.
The provisions of this Law shall be applicable to the present works of art. The protection period for such works of art shall include the period elapsed from the date of validity period up to the effective date hereof.
The provisions of this Law shall be applicable to all acts and agreements following the effective date hereof even if they are related to works of art which are published or acted prior to such a date. As regards the agreements concluded prior to the effective date hereof, they shall not be subject to the provisions of this Law as they shall be subject to the provisions which were valid and effective on the date on which they were concluded.