Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Bulgaria

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


Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire for many years. The Principality of Bulgaria became an autonomous state after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. On 5 October 1908 Bulgaria declared its independence as the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has been a member of the Berne Convention since 5 December 1921, the Universal Copyright Convention since 7 June 1975, the World Trade Organization since 1 December 1996 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 the Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights (as amended up to 2011) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Bulgaria.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

General rules

Under the Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights (as amended up to 2023),

  • Copyright shall be protected for the life of the author and 70 years after his death.[2023 Article 27(1)]
  • In the case of works created by two or more authors the term specified in para 1 shall run from the death of the last surviving author.[2023 Article 27(2)]
  • Copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous work shall expire 70 years after the work has been first made available to the public.[2023 Article 28]
  • Copyright in a film or other audio-visual work shall expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving among the director, the scriptwriter, the operator, the author of the dialogue and the author of the music if it has been created especially for the film.[2023 Article 29]
  • Copyright in encyclopaedias, periodicals and other works shall expire seventy years after making them available to the public. Where the author is disclosed, Article 27 applies.[2023 Article 30]

The terms defined above begin on the first of January of the year following the year of the death of the author or in which the work was created, made available to the public or published, as applicable.[2023 Article 31]

Not protected


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

The following are not considered subject matter of copyright:[2023 Article 4]

  1. normative and individual acts of state administration bodies, acts of courts, as well as their official translations;
  2. ideas and concepts;
  3. works of folklore;
  4. news, facts, information and data.
  5. materials obtained by reproduction of works referred to in Art. 5 - 10 with an expired term of copyright.

In particular, this applies to various documents, e.g. certificates, issued by units of the Bulgarian armed forces, including historical ones, like the Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Volunteer Corps (MAVC). In these cases it is advisable to use appropriate “author” templates if such exist, e.g. {{Author-MAVC}} for MAVC.

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-BG-exempt}} – for works exempt from copyright under Bulgaria law.
  • {{PD-BulgarianGov}} – for government works exempt from copyright under Bulgaria law.
  • {{PD-BGMFA}} — for works published on the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • {{}} — for works published on the website of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.


See also: Commons:Currency

 Not OK. The Bulgarian National Bank requires written permission for reproduction of Bulgarian banknotes and coins of all emissions in physical or electronic form.[3]

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 Not OK, non-commercial uses only of images of permanent works in public spaces. {{NoFoP-Bulgaria}}. Under the Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights (as amended up to 2011):

  • Art. 24. (amend. - SG 77/02, in force from 01.01.2003) (1) Without consent of the owner of the copyright and without payment of compensation shall be permissible:
    • 7. use of works, permanently exhibited at streets, squares and other public places without mechanical contact copying, as well as wireless broadcasting or transmitting by cable or other technical device, if done with informatory or other non-commercial purpose.[2011 Article 24(7)]


  1. Please tag Bulgarian no-FoP deletion requests: <noinclude>[[Category:Bulgarian FOP cases/pending]]</noinclude>
  2. "Copyright protection expires 70 years after the death of the original author (who is defined as the creator or designer) here. On January 1st of the following year (ie. January 1 of the 71st year), freely licensed images of the author's 3D works such as sculptures, buildings, bridges or monuments are now free and can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The lack of Freedom of Panorama is no longer relevant here for states with no formal FOP since the author's works are now copyright free."

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