Copyright and related rights in Syria

The law relating to copyright and related rights goes back to 2001 (law n°12 of 2001). Syria is party to the Berne Convention (Paris Act, 1971), to the WIPO Convention and to the Rome Convention. There is no collective management body in Syria.

1. INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS

Syria is bound by the following instruments :

  • Berne Convention (on literary and artistic works) since June 2004
  • WIPO Convention, since November 2004
  • Rome Convention (protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations) since May 2006.

2. NATIONAL LEGISLATION:

  • Law n° 12 of 2001

National law regulation of cinematographic and audiovisual works

Right holders:
  • authors (director, scenario-writer, adapter, dialogue writer, composer of the music especially made for the film). The authors of existing adapted works are assimilated to the authors of the work;
  • performers;
  • broadcasters.
Protected rights:
  • Authors’ rights:
    • economic rights: right of economic exploitation of the work by all means ; publication right; right of adaptation and translation.
    • moral rights: right to claim authorship; right to object modification, right of disclosure, right of withdrawal.
  • Performers' rights:
    • economic rights: right to authorise economic exploitation of their performances; broadcasting right; reproduction right; distribution right, rental and lending right.
    • moral rights: right to object modification.
  • Broadcasters' rights :
    • economic rights: right of exploitation of their programs (re-broadcasting, transcription, rental and sale to public).
Assignability of rights:
  • authors’ rights:
    • economic rights: assignable inter vivos and mortis causae by application of the law.
    • moral rights: not transferable inter vivos, transferable mortis causae by application of the law.
  • performers' rights:
    • economic rights: assignable inter vivos and mortis causae by application of the law
    • 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:

no.

Duration of rights:
  • authors’ rights:
    • economic rights: 50 years after work production; if the work has been communicated to the public with the author's agreement during this period, 50 years from the first communication to the public.
    • moral rights: perpetual.
  • performers rights:
    • economic rights: 50 years after the first public performance.
    • moral rights: perpetual.
  • broadcasters rights: 50 years after work production; if the work has been communicated to the public with the author's agreement during this period, 50 years from the first communication to the public.
Infringements of rights punished by law :
  • any infringement of the authors’ rights
  • counterfeiting
  • import, possession, offer for sale, communication to the public by any means, adaptation of a work in violation of the law for the purpose of commercial exploitation.
  • reproduction of a protected work in violation of the law and publication, sale, communication or rental of such reproduction.
Proceedings and penalties:
  • summary proceedings
  • civil and penal actions
  • imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years
  • fines
  • prohibitory injunction
  • seizure of tools used for counterfeiting
  • seizure of infringing copies and originals
  • destruction or neutralisation of infringing objects and materials used for their production
  • recourse to inventory and description
  • allocation of damages
  • temporary or final closure of establishment
  • publication of the judgment

3. COMPETENT MINISTRY:

Ministry of Culture
Department of copyright protection
Al Rawda, George Haddad Street
Damascus
Tel: 963.11.333.15.56/ 333.86.33
Fax: 963.11.3320804

4. COLLECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RIGHTS

There is no collective management body in Syria.

5. USEFUL LINKS

Law text in Arab language: www.arabpip.org

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

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