Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Cameroon

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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


Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom. In 1960, the French-administered part became independent as the Republic of Cameroun. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

Cameroon has been a member of the Berne Convention since 31 December 1959, the Bangui Agreement since 8 February 1982 and the World Trade Organization since 13 December 1995.[1][a] As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 2000/011 of December 19, 2000, on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Cameroon.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[4]

General rules

According to Cameroon's Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights of 2000,

  • For individual or joint works, copyright lasts for 50 years after the death of the author or last surviving author.[2000/011 Section 37(1)]
  • For collective, audiovisual and applied art works, copyright lasts for 50 years after creation or publication, whichever is latest.[2000/011 Section 37(2)]
  • For anonymous and pseudonymous works, copyright lasts for 50 years after creation or publication, whichever is latest.[2000/011 Section 37(3)]
  • For posthumous works, copyright lasts 50 years from publication.[2000/011 Section 37(4)]

All durations last to the end of the last calendar year when they are in force.

==Not protected==


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

Laws, court judgments and other official instruments, as well as their official translations, coats of arms, decorations, currency marks and other official insignia are not protected by copyright.[2000/011 Section 3(4)]

==Public domain and folklore: not free==See also: Commons:Paying public domain

Upon expiry of the protection time limits referred to in Section 37, the exclusive right shall become public property. The exploitation of public works shall be subject to the respect of moral rights, to a prior declaration addressed to the Minister in charge of culture, and to the payment of royalty whose proceeds shall be kept in a cultural policy support account provided for in Section 5. The rate of the royalty shall be fixed by regulations.[2000/011 Section 39]

“Folklore” shall mean all productions involving aspects characteristic of traditional cultural heritage, produced and perpetuated by a community or by individuals who clearly reflect the expectations of such community, comprising particularly folk tales, folk dances and shows, as well as artistic expressions, rituals and productions of popular art.[2000/011 Section 2] Folklore shall belong originally to the national cultural heritage. Its representation, direct or indirect fixation for profit-making purposes shall be subject to prior authorization from the service in charge of culture, in return for payment of royalty whose amount shall be fixed by statutory instrument. The amount received shall be deposited in a cultural policy support fund.[2000/011 Section 5]


See also: Commons:Currency

OK. Bank of Central African States, which issues Central African CFA franc, is based in Cameroon. Article 3c of the main IP law of Cameroon, the 2000 Copyright law, explicitly excludes banknotes and coins from copyright protection.

Please use {{PD-CA-CFA-franc}} for Central African CFA franc images.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 Not OK, only non-commercial use is allowed.

Under Cameroon's Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, enacted in 2000, there is freedom of panorama for artwork and architecture permanently located in a public place, but only for non-commercial uses:

  • Works of art, including works of architecture, permanently kept in a public place, may be reproduced and made available to the public through photographic and audiovisual means.[2000/011 Section 32(1)]
  • Any exploitation for profit of these reproductions without the prior authorization of the author of the works referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be unlawful.[2000/011 Section 32(2)]

See also


  1. WIPO notes that the Berne Convention entered into force in Cameroon on 31 December 1959.[1] WIPO does not hold the text of the relevant notification.[2] However, WIPO lists Cameroon among the signatory countries as of 13 January 1968.[3]


  1. a b c Cameroon Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Notifications > Berne Convention (Total Contracting Parties : 178) > Cameroon. WIPO. Retrieved on 2020-03-26.
  3. Berne Notification No. 2 ... Signatory Countries. WIPO. Retrieved on 2020-03-26.
  4. Law No. 2000/011 of December 19, 2000, on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights. Cameroon (2000). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
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