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Copyright Registration in Qatar

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Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of creative work, but not the idea itself. Copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States. The major aim of the copyright system is to keep a record of works protected under law, so in case of legal claim, plagiarism or infringement, the copyright owner can produce the official certificate and protect his right to that specific work.

Qatar has signed 3 international copyright agreements and is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works on 5th July, 2000, Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights on 13th January, 1996 and WIPO Copyright Treaty 28th October, 2005. The Copyright Index operates in Qatar under international copyright agreements. Hence it is recognised in all countries which have signed these treaties. Members of the Copyright Index are provided with official certified copyrights for their work, as well as a host of other copyright features. Issuing an official authorised certificate is just one of the ways we protect our members and their work.

As per law, protection shall cover particularly the following works:

(1) Books, pamphlets and other writings

 (2) Works delivered orally such as lectures, addresses, sermons or similar works such as poems and hymns

 (3) Dramatic and dramatic-musical works

 (4) Musical works, whether or not they include accompanying words;

(5) Choreographic works and pantomimes

 (6) audio-visual works

 (7) Photographic and similar works

 (8) Works of applied art, whether handicraft or produced on an industrial scale

 (9) Works of drawing and painting with lines and colours, architecture, sculpture, decorated arts, engravings, sketches, designs and three-dimensional geographic or topographical works.

(10) Computer programs.

Protection shall also extend to the title of the work if it is original.

Notwithstanding the protection provided by the preceding Article, the following derived works shall be protected by the provision of this Law:

(1) works of translation, summary, alteration explanation and other modifications;    

(2) Collection of encyclopaedias and selections if creative in the selection and arrangement of their subject matter;

(3) Data bases if creative in the arrangement of selection of their subject matter;

(4) Collections of works and expressions of folklore if creative by reason of arrangements or selection of their subject matter.

The protection provided by this Law shall not cover the following works:

(1) Laws, legal provisions, administrative decisions, international treaties, official documents or any official translation thereof. However, collections of such material are protected if they involve creative work in the selection and arrangement of their subject matter.

 (2) Daily news and other news of mere informatorily nature.

(3) Ideas, procedures, operational methods, mathematical concepts, principles and mere data. However, any derivative expression thereof shall be covered by protection.

The provisions of this Law shall apply to the following:

(1) Works of Qatari Authors published within or outside the State;

 (2) works which are published for the first time inside the State, and works which are published for the first time in another State and then published in Qatar within thirty days of the first publication date, irrespective of the nationality or place of residence of their authors; (3) audiovisual works whose producer has his headquarters or place of residence in Qatar;

(4) Architectural works constructed in Qatar, or any other artistic work incorporated in a building or any other construction situated in Qatar. The provisions of this Law shall also apply to works protected by an international agreement or a Court in which Qatar is a party, and in accordance with its provisions.

6. No work of any kind shall be published, displayed or circulated unless accompanied by the following:

 (1) Certificate of origin indicating the name of the author or the person to whom the right of exploitation has been assigned;   

To complete the registration procedure applicant has to submit the following documents;

•           Power of attorney;

•           Name of author(s);

•           Subject of the work;

•           Soft copy of the work;

•           Detailed specification of the work; and

•           Declaration of the ownership of the work. Proof of copyright is absolutely necessary for an age where the publication, distribution and theft of work are so easy. Nowadays, copyright infringement and intellectual theft are very common. Hence, it is very important to be on record to keep your rights protected. The sanctions for piracy or infringement activities were also set out in a proper way with statutory penalties of fines of up to QAR 100,000, i.e. USD $27,500 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

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