Copyright and related rights in Lebanon

The law relating to copyright and related rights goes back to 1999 (Law n° 75 of April, 3 1999 on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property). Lebanon is party to the Berne Convention (Paris Act, 1971), to the Rome Convention and to the WIPO Convention. There is in Lebanon a general collective copyright management body, the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Lebanon (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique au Liban (SACEM)), mainly active in the musical sector.

1. INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS

Lebanon is bound by the following instruments:

  • Berne Convention (on literary and artistic works), since September 1947
  • WIPO Convention, since December 1986.
  • Rome Convention (protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations), since August 1997.

2. NATIONAL LEGISLATION:

  • Law on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property no. 75 of April 3, 1999

National law regulation of cinematographic and audiovisual works

Right holders:
  • authors (unless otherwise agreed, the producer is the copyright holder);
  • performers;
  • broadcasters.
Protected rights:
  • Authors’ rights:
    • economic rights: reproduction right; right of adaptation and translation; distribution right; rental right; import right; public performance right; broadcasting right; right of communication to the public by cable or any other means, right of making available to the public.
    • moral rights: right to claim authorship; right to object modification; right of disclosure; right of withdrawal.
  • Performers' rights:
    • economic rights: right of communication to the public and of broadcasting of unfixed performances ; right of fixation ; right of reproduction, sale and rental of recordings containing an unauthorised fixation of the performance;
    • moral rights: right to claim authorship ; right to object modification.
  • Broadcasters' rights:
    • economic rights: right to authorise the re-broadcasting of broadcasts, the fixation for the purpose of profit, the reproduction of unauthorised recordings of broadcasts, the communication to the public where an entrance fee is paid.
Assignability of rights:
  • authors’ rights :
    • economic rights: assignable inter vivos and mortis causae
    • moral rights: not transferable inter vivos; transferable mortis causae by application of the law
  • performers' rights:
    • economic rights: assignable inter vivos and mortis causae
    • moral rights: not transferable inter vivos; transferable mortis causae by application of the law
Existence of a presumtion of assignment of rights to the producer:

yes, for authors and performers.

Duration of rights:
  • authors’ rights :
    • economic rights: 50 years after lawful publication ; failing publication, 50 years after work completion.
    • moral rights : perpetual.
  • performers' rights:
    • economic rights: 50 years from performance.
    • moral rights : perpetual.
  • broadcasters' rights: 20 years after first broadcasting.
Remuneration for private copying:

no.

Infringements of rights punished by law :
  • any infringement of rights protected by law
  • counterfeiting
  • work deposit under a false name
  • import, deposit or transit of infringing copies
  • putting into circulation, sale, and storage of infringing copies
  • fabrication, import, holding, sale, rental, installation of any device designed for the fraudulent reception of encrypted audiovisual programs, as well as organising or facilitating fraudulent reception.
Proceedings and penalties:
  • summary proceedings
  • civil and penal actions
  • imprisonment from 1 month to 3 years (double punishment in case of repetition of infringement)
  • fines
  • seizure
  • stock-taking
  • prohibitory injunction
  • seizure or destruction of infringing objects and materials used for their production
  • temporary closure of establishment
  • allocation of damages (material and moral prejudice)
  • publication and posting of the judgment

3. COMPETENT MINISTRY:

Ministry of the Economy and Trade
Intellectual Property Protection Office
Hamra
Abdel-Aziz street
Beirut
Tel.: (961.1) 34.44.85
Fax: (961.1) 34.78.00
www.economy.gov.lb

4. COLLECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RIGHTS

Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Lebanon (SACEM)
Furn El Chebak
Damas Street
Cinema Scala Building – 2
Beirut
Tel. : (961.1) 29.12.94/5
Fax : (961.1) 29.12.56

5. USEFUL LINKS

Law text in Arab language: www.arabpip.org

International conventions: www.ompi.org, www.wto.org

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