Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Belarus

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This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Belarus relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Belarus must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Belarus and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Belarus, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.


Belarus was annexed by Russia in 1795. It was occupied by Germany during World War I. Towards the end of the war, Belarus declared independence in 1918. In 1919 the country became a republic of the Soviet Union. During the break-up of the Soviet Union, Belarus again declared independence on 27 July 1990.

Belarus has been a member of the Berne Convention since 12 December 1997 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 6 March 2002.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011, on Copyright and Related Rights as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Belarus.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

General rules

According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011,

  • Moral rights to works of science, literature and art are protected without limitation of time.[262-Z/2011 Art.20(1)]
  • The exclusive right to a work is valid during the author’s life and for 50 years after his/her death unless otherwise stipulated below.[262-Z/2011 Art.20(2)]
  • The exclusive right to an anonymous work or work made under a pseudonym is valid for 50 years from the moment of the first rightful disclosure of such work or 50 years from the moment of creation unless it was duly disclosed with the author’s consent within 50 years from its creation.[262-Z/2011 Art.20(3)]
  • The exclusive right to the work created in co-­authorship is valid during the life and for 50 years after death of the author who outlived the other co­authors.[262-Z/2011 Art.20(4)]
  • Calculation of the above durations starts from 1 January of the year following the year of occurrence of the legal fact that is the basis for calculating the duration.[262-Z/2011 Art.20(5)]
  • Termination of the period of validity of exclusive right to a work means transfer of such work to public domain. Works that have never been protected on the territory of the Republic of Belarus are deemed as transferred to public domain.[262-Z/2011 Art.21(1)]
  • Works transferred to public domain can be freely used by any individual or legal entity without payment of royalty. However, moral rights of the authors must be observed.[262-Z/2011 Art.21(2)]

Not protected


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011,

  • The following are not deemed objects of copyright: official documents (legal acts, court decisions, other administrative and court documents, constituent documents of legal entities) and their official translations; State symbols of the Republic of Belarus (State Flag of the Republic of Belarus, State Emblem of the Republic of Belarus, State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus), symbols of state decorations of the Republic of Belarus (orders and medals), state signs (paper currency of the Republic of Belarus, post stamps and other signs), official heraldry symbols (flags, emblems of administration divisions of the Republic of Belarus, heraldry signs, colours, badges, emblems of state authorities etc.); works of folk art which authors are unknown.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(2)]
  • Copyright shall not cover ideas, methods, processes, systems, ways, conceptions, principles, discoveries, facts even if they are expressed, presented, explained or implemented in works.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(2)]

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK, noncommercial only. According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011,

  • Works of photography, architecture, fine arts can be visualized, broadcasted or cablecasted, and publicly transmitted in any other way if such works continuously remain at the place with free admission. Representation of such works shall not be the main object of visualization, broadcasting or by cablecasting or other public transmission and shall not be used for commercial purposes.[262-Z/2011 Art.32(7)]

This only permits noncommercial representations, but noncommercial licensing is not accepted at Wikimedia Commons.

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-BY-exempt}} – for formal documents (laws, judgements, other texts of legal, administrative and judicial nature), and also their official translations; state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs); works of folk arts, authors of which are not known.
  • {{PD-Belarus}} – for works 50 years after the author's (or last-surviving co-author) death or 50 years after the first legal publication of the work published under pseudonym or anonymously.


See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK Belarusian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(2)]

Please use {{PD-BY-exempt}} for Belarus currency images.


See also: Commons:Stamps

Public domain use {{PD-BY-exempt}}

According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011, "state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs)" are not copyrightable.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(2)] According to the Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003, "postage stamp is an official (state) sign of postage printed on paper and carrying an artwork, and inscriptions "БЕЛАРУСЬ", "BELARUS", year of issue (in Arabic letters) and a par value (in Arabic figures). The par value of postage stamp may be designated in letters."[3]

See also


Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer