Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Belize

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This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Belize relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Belize must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Belize 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 Belize, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.


The Belize region became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862. Belize became independent on 21 September 1981.

Belize has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995, the Berne Convention since 17 June 2000 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty effective 9 February 2019.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright Act (Cap. 252, Revised Edition 2000) as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Belize.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

Prior to 2000, copyright was governed by the Copyright Act 1956 of the United Kingdom per article 5 of the Belize Independence Order 1981.

General rules

According to the Belize Copyright Act of 2000,

  • Literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works are protected for 50 years after the death of the author.[Cap.252/2000 Section 10(1)]
  • If the author is unknown, the works are protected for 50 years after publication unless the author becomes known during that period, in which case the works are protected for 50 years after the death of the author.[Cap.252/2000 Section 10(2)]
  • A work of joint authorship is protected for 50 years after the death of the last surviving known author, or 50 years after publication if none of the authors is known.[Cap.252/2000 Section 10(5)]
  • Copyright in a sound recording or film expires 50 years after it was made, or 50 years after it was made available to the public.[Cap.252/2000 Section 11]

Protection ceases at the end of the last calendar year.

License tags

  • {{PD-Belize}} for works in the public domain under Belize copyright law
  • For stamps issued before Belizean independence (in the territory of British Honduras), crown copyright applies (See {{PD-UKGov}}).

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OK {{FoP-Belize}} The Belize Copyright Act of 2000 states that photographs, films, or graphic works depicting a building, sculpture, or work of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public, do not infringe the copyright of the original work.[Cap.252/2000 Section 78]

Prior to 2000, freedom of panorama was granted by the Copyright Act 1956 of the United Kingdom.


See also: Commons:Stamps

Copyrighted According Belize's Copyright Act of 2000, where a protected work has been made by or under the direction or control of the Government and, apart from this subsection no copyright would subsist in the work, then copyright shall subsist therein by virtue of this subsection and shall initially belong to the State.[Cap.252/2000 Section 25(4)] No special terms are specified for stamps or other government works, so standard copyright rules apply.

For stamps issued before Belizean independence (1981), crown copyright applies.


See also: Commons:Currency

As of 2019, all Belize coins are in the public domain, with the exception of some commemorative and numismatic coins (e.g. those created by the Franklin Mint). The designs for all currently circulating Belize coins were created in the 1950s or earlier by the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom (when Belize was British Honduras). Thus they were under crown copyrights which have now expired. Please use {{PD-UKGov}} for these in addition to a license for the photographs (since coins are considered 3D objects). Any future coin designs, however, are likely to be copyrighted by the Belizean government, as Belize does not have a public domain exception for government works.

See also


  1. a b Belize Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Copyright Act (Cap. 252, Revised Edition 2000). Belize (2000). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
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