Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Brunei

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


The Bruneian Empire once controlled a large part of the island of Borneo, but in the 19th century lost most of its territory to the Dutch and British. In 1888 what remained of Brunei became a British protectorate. Brunei regained independence on 1 January 1984.

Brunei has been a member of the Berne Convention since 30 August 2006, the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 2 May 2017.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Emergency (Copyright) Order, 1999 as the main copyright law issued by the Executive of Brunei.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

General rules

A work first published in Brunei will be in the public domain because its copyright protection has expired by virtue of the Emergency (Copyright) of 1999 if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works:
    • Computer-generated: 50 years from creation.[1999 14(3)]
    • Anonymous/pseudonymous: 50 years from creation.[1999 14(2)]
    • Other: 50 years from death of (last known) author(s).[1999 14(1)]
  • Sound recording or film: 50 years from publication or creation (whichever date is later) [1999 Sec.15]
  • Broadcast or cable program: 50 years from publication.[1999 Sec.16(1)]
  • Government work
    • Published with 75 years of creation: 50 years from publication.[1999 167(1)(3)(b)]
    • Otherwise: 125 years from creation.[1999 167(1)(3)(a)]
  • Legislative council work: 50 years from creation.[1999 169(3)]
  • Act or order
    • 50 years from assent of an act.[1999 168(2)]
    • 50 years from creation of an emergency order.[1999 168(3)]

Copyright tags


See also: Commons:Copyright tags

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK for 3D works and works of artistic craftsmanship = {{FoP-Brunei}}. OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK for 2D graphic works.

Under the Emergency (Copyright) Order, 1999 of Brunei Darussalam,

  • It is not a copyright infringement to make graphic representations, take photographs, broadcast the images of buildings, sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship given that the object is permanently situated in a public place, nor to reproduce aforementioned works to the public.[1999 Section 66]
  • "Work of artistic craftsmanship" is defined separately from "graphic work".[1999 Section 6] "Graphic work" includes any painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart or plan, and any engraving, etching, lithograph, woodcut or similar work.[1999 Section 6] These works are not covered by the Section 66 exception.[1999 Section 66]


  1. a b Brunei Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
  2. Emergency (Copyright) Order, 1999. Brunei (1999). Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
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