Saturday, 11 February 2012

Copyright and Related Rights in the United Arab Emirates: Part II

This article continues and concludes my introduction to copyright and related rights in the United Arab Emirates ("UAE"). In Part I I discussed the treaties and conventions to which the UAE is party, the implementing legislation, copyright works and performances, economic and moral rights and the term. In this Part I consider subsistence, licensing and assignment, regulation of collecting societies, infringement and remedies.

Federal Copyright Copyright Law
The basic copyright law statute is Federal Law No. (7) of the Year 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights ("FL7"). An English translation appears on the WIPO website.

Art 2 of FL7 confers upon owners of copyright and neighbouring rights the protection of this law against an aggression against their rights. Art 4 establishes a system for the registration and deposit of copyright works.According to the WIPO website, the copyright office for the UAE is the Ministry of Publishing and Copyright Department, P.O. Box 901, Abu Dhabi Tel +971 506 162 120, Fax +971 262 62 867. The Director of the authority is Fawzi Abdel Aziz Algabri.

Transfer of Rights
Subject to art 15, art 9 of FL7 permits a copyright owner to transfer all or part of his economic rights provided that he does so in writing and specifies the right, purpose, duration and place of exploitation.  Art 10 permits such transfer to be in consideration of money or moneysworth provided that the fairness of the transfer may later be reviewed by the courts under art 11. Art 15 prohibits the alienation of all or more than 5 prospective works.

Compulsory Licensing
Art 21 of FL7 permits any person to apply to the Ministry of Information and Culture for a compulsory licence for the translation or reproduction of a copyright work. The Ministry sets the terms of such licence.

Exceptions to Copyright
Copyright is not infringed by any of the following acts:

  • making a single copy of a copyright work (other than a work of fine or applied art, work of architecture of computer program except as otherwise provided) for personal and non-commercial or professional but personal use of the copier under art 22 (1);
  • making a single copy of a computer program for back-up purposes by a licensed user for so long as the licence subsists under art 22 (2);
  • use in judicial proceedings under art 22 (3);
  • making a single copy subject to acknowledgements for the purpose of preserving the original or research or private study if not otherwise licensed under art 22 (4);
  • quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism, discussion or review provided that the extract is accompanied by a proper acknowledgement under art 22 (5);
  • performing a work in private to a domestic or academic audience without remuneration under art 22 (6);
  • including publicly available fine arts, applied or plastic works of art or works of architecture in a broadcast under art 22 (7); and
  • reproduction of extracts from written works, sound recordings or audio-visual performances for cultural, educational, religious or vocational training provided that no more is taken than is reasonably necessary for the purpose, the author is mentioned, no profit is intended and it is not possible to obtain a licence by other means under art 22 (8).
Art 23 permits newspapers, periodicals and broadcasters to copy excepts from published works and speeches for reporting news and current affairs upon the conditions specified in the article.

Regulation of Collecting Societies
Collecting societies have to be licensed annually by the Minister of Information and Culture pursuant to art 32 of FL7.They are required to keep records of their members and finances which may be inspected by the Ministry. Licences may be withdrawn at any time.

Copyright infringement is an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment under art 37 of FL7.  Allegedly infringing copies of copyright works may be impounded by customs under art 36.  There is also a right of pre-emptive seizure under art 34 provided that proceedings are instituted within 15 days (art 34 (6) FL7).

Further Information
Should anybody wish to discuss this topic further, he or she can call me on +44 161 850 0080 or fill in my contact form. He or she can also contact me through FacebookLinkedinXing or twitter.  

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