Arab Republic of Syria
Ministry of Culture
Decree No. 1275/F
Implementing the Copyright Law
No.12 issued February 27, 2001
Minister of Culture
Based on the provision of article 48 of the law No.12 of February 27, 2001.
The following is hereby decreed:
following terms in the decree herein shall hereby refer to the corresponding
Ministry: The Ministry of Culture
Minister: The Minister of Culture
Law: Copyright law No. /12 issued on Feb. 27, 2001
Author: Same meaning mentioned in the law:
whom the published work relates, by citing his title on the work or by any other
means to include citation of pseudonyms unless otherwise evidenced.
work: Same meaning mentioned in the law:
intellectual form or mode which conveys a creative literary, scientific or
artistic production whatever the mode, form, importance or means of expression
is, or the reason for creating such work might be.
Same meaning mentioned in the law:
musicians, singers, dancers, declaimers and others who perform literary or
artistic work in any mode or form.
Department: The Department of Copyright Protection in the Ministry of Culture
Director: the Director of the Department of Copyright Protection in the Ministry
per the stipulations of the law herein, the author of the protected work or his
proxy or heirs and the owner of the public performance right who desire to
register such right at the Department shall present:
written application on the approved form which contains his full name, address,
selected domicile and pseudonym (if any) together with a photocopy of his
Identification Card or any official document that is evidence of the identity.
the author is a legal personality, an approved official document to this end
shall be presented.
Based upon the nature of the work, the following shall also be presented:
copies of the printed work in the form offered for circulation; if offered in
more than one form, then the best of the forms shall be presented.
the author may register a copy of his work before publication as a proof of his
right; if circulation is not in effect within three years, such registration
shall be deemed virtually cancelled.
- Three copies of the charts, designs and the like.
colored copies of the plastic artworks.
groups of pictures depicting details of sculptures from different angles.
copies of acoustic, audio or video recordings.
copies from the serials or cinematographic works recorded on videotapes or
- Three copies from the melodies.
copies or patterns from the computer works.
Three copies of other artistic works.
If the work is a product of more than one party, the application for registration as per the provisions of Article 2 herein, shall be presented by all co-authors of the work.
author or his legal representative shall present together with his application
an undertaking on the accredited form and signed before the Director or his
official delegate, indicating the truth of the information included in his
application and that the work is of his creation, and pledging all legal and
financial remedies if otherwise proved.
undertaking of the party deemed to be an author as per the stipulations of
Article 31 of the law herein, shall indicate a pledge that such author is the
originator of the general idea of the work and that such author directed another
to execute the work as per the stipulations of Article 31.
author, upon filing the application for registration fulfilling the stated
prerequisites, shall be provided with a procès-verbal on the accredited form
signed by the Secretary of the Department stating the particulars received.
Department shall in turn present the filing application to the Minister together
with its findings, and indicating whether the legal prerequisites were fulfilled
to include the requirement of creativity or not. If the Minister decides the
need of further verification of the creativity, the Minister shall refer the
application to a special committee for further advice.
the filing application is rejected an elaborate decision shall be issued.
author whose application was rejected may, within one month from being notified
of the rejection, present a grievance to the Minister. The Minister shall within
fifteen days from the Ministry's receipt of the grievance make a decision. Non
response to the grievance shall be deemed a rejection of the same.
a decision is made to register the work, the author shall be provided with a
registration document together with a copy of the work, which was previously
presented, indicating such registration.
Ministry of Culture in coordination with relevant Ministries and Departments
shall specify the procedures to be undertaken upon the import or export any
legally protected works registered in the Department in protection of the rights
of the authors and performers.
Department shall record the author's transfer of his rights in the work upon the
author's request, provided that such complies with the stipulations of the law
and is conformed to a legally notarized agreement.
Department shall not register the transfer of the rights upon the request of the
Department shall not be deemed partially or exclusively responsible for the work
transferred or the period of the transferred rights or any agreement related
matters on the part of the transferee.
the death of the author the copyrights shall be transferred to his heirs upon
the request of any of the heirs.
authorized as per Article 47 for legal investigation shall practice their
authorities within their respective localities as specified to each in the
relevant decision, and shall be provided with identification cards to indicate
such official capacity.
Ministry shall practice the competence’s stipulated in Articles 43 and 44 of
the law as per a justified decision issued by the Minister.
According to the provisions
of the Constitution and the approval of the People's Assembly in its session of
26/11/1421 Islamic Calendar concurrent with 19/2/2001 A.D, the following is
enforcement of the law herein, the following expressions shall hold the meanings
Ministry: Ministry of Culture
Minister: The Minister of Culture
Author: Whomever the work is published related to, whether by mentioning his
name on the work or by any other means (to include assumed names) unless
otherwise is proved.
The Work: The cognitive means that includes a literary, scientific or artistic creative production no matter what its quality or importance is, and whatever means of expression are used, or the reason for its classification might be.
Actors, musicians, singers, dancers, recitals and others who perform an artistic
work whether literary, artistic in a way or another.
Transmitting or communicating the work to the public either by direct or
indirect means; reproducing or transcribing such work in whole or in part that
could be read, heard, seen or performed.
The group of moral and material rights entitled to a person for his work.
Scope of protection
entitled for protection according to the stipulation of the law herein are:
produced and distributed by citizens of the Arab Republic of Syria and similar
stance, in the Syrian territory and abroad.
produced and published in the Arab Republic of Syria by authors who select the
Arab Republic of Syria as their selected domicile.
protected through the provisions of cultural agreements and other agreements to
which the Arab Republic of Syria is committed.
works are protectable according to the stipulations of the law herein, such
protection shall cover the following:
works "books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets, manuscripts, lectures and
similar written material".
works (theatrical and musical "whether in a digital encrypted form or not
"and whether accompanied by words or not in addition to cinematography,
broadcast, televised, lyrical, eurythmic, pantomime and music composing works.)
of plastic and applied arts and photography.
Works of drawings, geographic maps and designs related to topography,
architecture or science.
e) Works of computer software to include design documents and data thereof.
Protection shall include the title of the work unless such title is a common term indicating the subject matter of the work.
protection prescribed by the law herein shall not include the following:
a) Groups of official documents such as laws, decrees, regulations, international agreements, judicial judgements, decisions of the administrative authorities and all other official documents and the official translation thereof.
Daily news whether published, broadcast or publicly announced.
Chapter III: Copyright
author of the protected works alone is entitled to publish such work and to
select the means of publishing. The author alone, and whomever he assigns in
writing, may financially exploit the work by any means or in any from; no third
parties are entitled for the same without the written authorization of the
author or his successors.
author alone is entitled to introduce whatever amendment or change to his work.
The author may see to the translation of the work, third parties are not
entitled to such rights without the written authorization of the author or his
work shall be related to its author by mentioning the name of the author on any
works stipulated in Articles 5 and 6 herein except in cases where the work is
introduced within broadcast or televised current events.
author or his representative may refute any violation to his work and to prevent
any distortion, misrepresentation, alteration or any damage that may cause harm
to the author morally or materially. The author may claim compensation for such;
such right shall also be entitled to the heirs.
quotation or analysis of the published work shall not be deemed an infringement
to the author's rights if intended for criticism, discussion, education or
information as long as the work is referred to together with the author's name
creditor holding a written document against the author (i.e. agreement, contract
or debt debenture) may provisionary seize the published copies of the author's
work published on the author's expense. Such seizure may not be applied to the
authors right to publish the work or disclaim the work to the author or deny the
author's right to defend his work against any infringement or draw back his work
constructed according to illegal adaptation of an architectural design and
drawings may not in any manner be subject to seizure, confiscation or
destruction in protection of the architect's creativity rights.
author of a scientific or literary work is entitled to draw back his work from
circulation or ban such circulation provided that the author indemnifies the
damaged party by an appropriate compensation.
and broadcasting organizations are entitled to ban any exploitation of their
programs without prior written authorization. Re-transmitting such programs,
transcription, rental or sale to the public shall be deemed illegal exploitation
of the work.
author may assign to third parties the rights of exploitation as expressed in
the provisions of Articles 5 and 6 of the law herein. Such assignment shall be
in writing with specific definition of each right separately.
property of an original work is assigned to other parties, such assignment shall
not include copyright, yet the assignee may offer such work to the public
without having the right to re - assign or copy such work unless otherwise
of a picture are not entitled to display, publish or distribute the original or
copies of such picture without the consent of the individuals displayed in the
picture. Such stipulation shall not be enforceable if the display of the picture
was in the event of public occurrence, was of public figures or was approved by
the Ministry for the interest of public welfare. The figure personified may
allow publication of the picture in books, newspapers, magazines and similar
means even without the consent of the picture producer unless otherwise agreed.
Such stipulations shall be enforceable on all types of pictures whether produced by means of photography, drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture or any other means.
protection of copyright shall not be in violation to the right of the State to
prohibit circulation of any work, the circulation of which forms violation to
the public order or ethics.
author whose rights as stipulated in the law herein are violated, is entitled
for an appropriate material compensation.
copyrights are assigned in whole to the author's heirs after his death. Such
assignment shall include publishing of the work if not previously published. If
the author has no heirs such rights are assigned to the Ministry.
the work is a result of a combined effort of several persons, and one of
such persons dies without successors, the share of the deceased in the financial exploitation of the work is vested to the State while other rights are reverted to the rest of the authors unless otherwise agreed.
right of the deceased to have his name ascribed to the work remains unchanged.
the heirs or successors of the author neglect practicing the rights stipulated
in the provisions of Articles 19, 20 in the law herein and the Ministry deems to
publish the work in the public interest, the Ministry may request, via
registered mail, from the heirs the publication of the work within a period of
six months, if such period lapses without publication; the State may practice
the rights as stipulated, provided that the heirs are properly compensated. In
case the author had no heirs such rights are assigned to the State as
represented by the Ministry.
author shall be entitled to his copyrights for his lifetime and fifty years
thereafter. If the work is a combined effort of more than one author, then the
copyrights are entitled for the lifetime and fifty years after the death of the
last author party of the work.
work published without mention of the author or with the mention of a pseudonym
shall be entitled to the copyrights for fifty years as of the date of the first
legitimate publication. If the identity of the author is revealed or doubts are
no longer valid as for specifying the same before such period lapses, the
copyrights shall be applied as per the provisions of Article 22 of the law
of audio - visual, broadcast, televised or cinematography work shall be
enforceable for fifty years as of the date of producing the work. If the work is
offered to the public with the author's consent during such period, protection
shall be enforced for fifty years as of such later date.
of photographic, fine arts or plastic arts shall be enforceable for ten years as
of the date of producing such work.
unprotected works or works with expired protection periods according to the
stipulations of the law herein shall fall in the public domain.
and their successors are entitled to moral rights that could neither be assigned
or outdated, such rights entitle the performers and their successors to a
performance compensation ratio and protection against violating such
are entitled to exclusive financial rights that authorizes such performers to
prevent any exploitation of their performance without prior written
authorization. Broadcasting and televising such performance is deemed illegal
and shall be prohibited. Recording on any medium, making reproduction, selling
or renting such medium shall also be prohibited. Such right shall extend for
fifty years as of the date of first public performance.
Copyrights of Joint Works
more than one person jointly create the work so as each person's share of the
work cannot be identified, all the persons contributing to the work shall be
deemed owners on equal footing unless otherwise agreed in writing. In case a
dispute arises leading to non publication of the work, the Ministry may apply
the stipulations of Article 21 of the law herein, if the Ministry deems that
such publication is in the public interest; provided that the Ministry fairly
compensates the owners of such jointly created work.
the contribution of several persons in the creation of a joint work is due to a
different scope of the subject of the work, each person shall be entitled
individually to exploit his part of the work provided that such exploitation
does not harm the exploitation of the joint work unless otherwise agreed in
work created by one or more individual upon the instructions or guidance of a
natural or a juridical person, and the performance of the participants in such
work is merged in the general idea in a manner that denies separation and
identification of the performance of the individual participants of such work,
then the natural or juridical person who instructed or guided the creativity of
such work shall be considered the author of such work and shall solely be
entitled to the protection of the copyrights.
case of participating in composing musical lyricism, then the music composer and
distributor shall together be entitled to license for public performance the
joint work, publishing or reproducing such work without prejudice to the rights
of the author of the literary part, the author of such part may solely publish
the literary part provided that such part may not be the ground work for another
musical work unless otherwise agreed.
case of participating in the creation of works performed in motion accompanied
by music, shows, sketches and similar works collectively achieved; the author of
the non musical part of the work is entitled to license for public performance
the entire joint work, performing such or reproducing such. The composer of the
musical part may authorize the exploitation of the musical part alone, provided
that such part is not exploited in a work similar to the joint work unless
following shall be deemed partners in the cinematography, theatrical, broadcast
or televised work:
a) The scenarist if the scenario is novel
The adapter of the work in order to suit the theatrical, televised or
c) The dialogist.
The music composer if particularly composed for the work or selected from the
e) The director, who has actually supervised the work and positively contributed in the creation and the artistic realization of such. If the work was adapted from another work protected as per the stipulations of the law herein, the creator of such other work shall be deemed a partner in the creation of the new work.
creator of the artistic work (theatrical, televised, broadcast or cinematography
… etc.), its adapter, its script writer, and its director are entitled
collectively to present their work on show without the owner of the literal,
intellectual, scientific or music composer having the right to object to such,
provided that the music composer and adapter are not subject to any prejudice
related to their work or harm their reputation. The creators of the literal,
intellectual, scientific and musical parts of the work are each entitled to
publish their part of the work in a means other than Cinema, Television, Theater
and Broadcasting Services unless otherwise agreed.
one of the participants of the artistic work (cinematography, theatrical,
broadcast or televised … etc) refrains to complete his part of the work, such
action shall not prevent any of the other participants to exploit such part
without prejudice to the rights of the creator of the intellectual, literal or
scientific work related to such part of the work.
Free Utilization of The
following exploitation of the protected work in its source language or its
translation shall be deemed legitimate without need of the author's or creator's
First: Legitimately published works
of the work, its excerpts, its (musical) composing or its adaptation in any form
or reproducing of such work with the intention of making only one copy for
b) Quotation of excerpts of the work provided that such quotation complies with the prevailing customs and is justified. Mention of the work title and the creator or author of such in conjunction with the quotation is mandatory, to enclude mention even on texts transcribed from press articles and periodicals in the form of press extracts.
Utilization of the work for educational purposes in the form of publications,
broadcast or televised programs, audiovisual recordings or for pedagogical, or
vocational training purposes provided that such utilization complies with
customary practice and that the title of the work and its creator are mentioned
in all the means of utilization mentioned herein.
Reproduction of an article which is broadcast or published in newspapers or
circulars to the public provided that the source is mentioned. Such reproduction
shall be deemed unlawful if it was explicitly mentioned in such article, upon
its previous broadcast or publication, that the reproduction of which is
Reproduction of a work that may be seen or heard on the occasion of presenting
current incidents through photography, cinematography or other means of the
media or making such work available to the public within the framework of the
desired information goal.
Reproduction of artistic, plastic or architectural work to show such to the
public through cinema or television, if such works are permanently displayed to
the public or if their role in the program is secondary or extrinsic compared to
the main topic.
Reproduction of a literary, artistic or scientific work through photography or
similar means, if such work was previously legitimately available to the public;
provided that such reproduction was achieved by a public library, a non
commercial documentary center, a scientific organization or an educational
institute and provided that such reproduced copies are in compliance with the
activities of the reproducers and also provided that such reproduction shall not
adversely affect the financial exploitation of the work or prejudice the
legitimate interests of the creator or author.
Reproduction made by newspapers or other media to the public for any political
speech, speech delivered in a court hearing, lecture or religious or non
religious occasion or any similar occasion in public provided that the reason
for such utilization is to communicate news from the current incidents.
General Corporation for Broadcast and Television is entitled to broadcast or
display works that are presented on theatrical stages or on any other means of
public performance, the managers of such locations shall allow the previously
mentioned Corporation to utilize all technical means required for such broadcast
or display. The previously mentioned Corporation shall fairly compensate the
creator or author or his heirs and show the title of the work and the name of
its creator or author. Such broadcast or display shall not be deemed legitimate
before passing of five years from the date of recording by the General
Corporation or otherwise agreed.
Ministry shall establish a special Department to register copyrights, and follow
up the protection of such rights.
Minister shall issue the decrees defining the responsibilities of the
Department, its performance and registration policies and documents without
prejudice to the stipulations of the legal filing of applications.
following shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period from three months up
to two years and a fine not less than one hundred thousand Syrian Liras or
either of the abovementioned penalties:
First: Any person or entity who infringes any of the protectable rights as stipulated in Articles 5, 6 or 7 of the subject law.
Any person who claims to himself a work that is created or authored by others.
Third: Any person or entity who adapts, possesses, offers for sale or makes public by any means or enters into the territories of the Arab Republic of Syria any work in violation to the stipulations of the law herein for the purpose of commercial exploitation.
Fourth: Any person or entity who reproduces in the Arab Republic of Syria works that are protected in violation to the stipulations of the law herein and any person or entity who issues, sells, communicates, publishes or rents such works while being aware of such violation.
Penalties shall be multifarious according to the number of works being infringed.
penalty shall be multiplied in case of recurrence of the infringement.
court may order permanent or temporary foreclosure of the locations utilized by
the violators or their accomplices for such infringement. The court may also
order the confiscation of all the tools and equipment solely used for the
unlawful publication in violation to the stipulations of the law herein. The
court may order the publication of its ruling in one or more gazettes on the
expenses of the sentenced violators.
Ministry may confiscate or request the confiscation of all the copies of the
reproduced work that are reproduced in violation to the stipulations of the law
court may, upon the request of the creator or author or his successors or the
request of the Ministry, rule the following measures in relation to any work
published or offered without the written approval of the creator or author or
a detailed description of the work.
Order the discontinuation of the publication of the work, displaying or
c) Order the impoundment of the original work and the copies thereof (books, pictures, tapes or compact discs … etc) and the materials used in republishing or reproducing such work provided that such materials are solely used for the republishing or reproducing of such work.
d) Corroboration of evidence of public performance of the works that are displayed or performed before the audience and prohibit continuation of the show in the present or in the future.
e) Order the inventory of the outcomes resulting from the publication or display, by an expert to be appointed for that reason, if needed, and impoundment of the outcomes in all cases.
court to which the dispute is brought before may, upon the creator or author or
his successor's request, order the destruction of the copies or reproductions of
the work that was illegitimately published and the materials used in such
publication provided it could not be otherwise utilized. The court may order to
change the characteristics of such copies or reproductions or render such
inoperable at the cost of the relevant party.
The court may, in case the copyright matures within a period less than two years as of the date of the ruling, substitute its previous order to provisional seizure of such copies, reproductions or materials in compensation for the damages to the creator or author or the destruction or change the characteristics of such, without prejudice to the copyrights as stipulated in the relevant Articles.
the firms licensed to publish, reproduce, distribute or sell works in the Arab
Republic of Syria shall hold in their files the written documents from the owner
of the copyright or the relevant authorities authorizing the firm for such
activities whether such work is from within the country or abroad provided that
for works from abroad, the written documents should be accompanied by the
statement indicating the source of such work and the relevant permission or
agreement entitling the reproduction, distribution or sale of such.
Minister shall issue a decision to nominate the civil servants who shall have
the judicial authority in enforcing the stipulations of the law herein after
administering the judicial oath before the First Instance Civil Court. Such
employees are authorized to inspect the firms publishing, distributing,
reproducing and issuing the works in the country. They shall also have the power
to apprehend any violation to the stipulations of the law herein and may
accordingly seize the materials, copies and means utilized in such violations as
stipulated in the law herein with the support of the security and police forces
whenever such support is required.
Minister shall issue the decisions, regulations and executive bylaws as of the
date of promulgation of the law herein.
provisions contrary to the law herein shall be considered null and void.
law shall be published in the official Gazette and shall come into force as of
the date of issuance.
Courtesy of Kardous Law Office