Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Cuba

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


Cuba was a Spanish colony from the 15th century until 1898, when it was occupied by the United States. In 1902 the country gained nominal independence, and regained self government in 1908.

Cuba has been a member of the Universal Copyright Convention since 18 June 1957, the World Trade Organization since 20 April 1995 and the Berne Convention since 20 February 1997.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 14 of December 28, 1977, on Copyright as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Cuba.[1] The 1977 law repealed the Law of Intellectual Property of 10 January 1879 and its regulations of 3 September 1880, as well as articles 428 and 429 of the Civil Code of 1889.[14/1977-1994 Article 50] WIPO holds the text of the 1977 law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] This version takes into account amendments up to Decree-Law No. 156 of September 28, 1994.

General rules

According to Law No. 14 of December 28, 1977 as amended up to 1994,

  • Copyright is valid for the life of the author and 50 years after his death, except for the exceptions expressly indicated in this Law.[14/1977-1994 Article 43]
  • For a collaborative work, the period of validity extends for 50 years after the death of all the authors.[14/1977-1994 Article 43]
  • The term of fifty years indicated in this article begins to count from the first of January of the year following the death of the author.[14/1977-1994 Article 43]
  • For a work by an unknown author, or a work published anonymously or under a pseudonym, copyright is valid for 50 years from the first publication of the work.[14/1977-1994 Article 45]
  • The period of validity of copyright belonging to legal entities is of unlimited duration. In case of reorganization, the copyright goes to the successor juridical person, and in case of its dissolution to the State.[14/1977-1994 Article 46]
  • The period of validity of the copyright in a work created by a procedure analogous to that of the photograph, or on a work of the applied arts, extends to twenty-five years from the use of the work.[14/1977-1994 Article 47]

Status in United States

A Cuban work uploaded to Wikimedia Commons must be in the public domain in both Cuba and the United States.

  • Photographs are in the public domain in the United States if first published in Cuba without compliance with US copyright formalities and used in Cuba before 20 February 1972.
  • Anonymous works (not photographs) are in the public domain in the United States if first published in Cuba without compliance with US copyright formalities and used in Cuba before 20 February 1947.
  • Corporate and government works are in the public domain in the United States if published before 1927 (95 years ago)
  • All other works are in the public domain in the United States if Published in Cuba without compliance with US copyright formalities, author died before 1947 or, Published 95 years ago.

Paying public domain

See also: Commons:Paying public domain

At the expiration of the period of validity of the copyright, a work may be declared belonging to the State by decision of the Council of Ministers. The modalities and conditions of use of the declared work pertaining to the State, will be established by said body.[14/1977-1994 Article 48] Subject to the stipulations of article 48, when the period of validity of the copyright on a work has expired, it may be freely used by any person, provided that the author's name is mentioned and the integrity of the work is respected. However, the user must pay a special contribution that will be used for the development of science, education and culture of the country. The amount of this contribution, its form of payment, and the principles of administration of the funds thus acquired, will be set by the Ministry of Culture, which will also be empowered to indicate the exceptions to the provisions of this article.[14/1977-1994 Article 49]

Copyright tags


See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Cuba}} – for works made in Cuba whose copyright has expired.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK {{FoP-Cuba}}

According to Law No. 14 of December 28, 1977 as amended up to 1994, it is permissible, without the author's consent and without remuneration, but with obligatory reference to his name and provided the work is public knowledge and respectful of the artist's specific values: ... to reproduce by any means, except those involving direct contact with its surface, a work of art of any type on permanent display in a public place, except those in exhibitions and museums;[14/1977-1994 Article 38(c)]


See also: Commons:Stamps

Copyrighted Modern stamps of this country are not in public domain or their status is unknown. Cuba was under Spanish control until 1898 and then under U.S. control until the Republic was established on May 20, 1902. Accordingly, the copyright applicable to stamps issued during those time periods would be Spain and the U.S.

See also


  1. a b Cuba Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
  2. Ley Nº 14 de 28 de diciembre de 1977 de Derecho de Autor. Cuba (1977). 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