Commons:Copyright rules by territory/East Timor

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


East Timor, the eastern part of the island of Timor, was a Portuguese colony until November 1975, when it declared independence. Indonesia invaded East Timor a few days later, and in 1976 it was declared a province of Indonesia. After a prolonged struggle for independence Indonesia relinquished control in 1999 and East Timor (Timor Leste) became a sovereign state on 20 May 2002.[1]

Governing laws

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, did not list any laws enacted by the legislature of East Timor that directly defined IP rules.[2] The UN similarly found no such copyright laws except for limited provisions in the Constitution and the Civil Code.[3] The rules applicable to Portuguese colonies or to Indonesia should be considered for works created prior to 1999. For later works, we assume that Indonesian copyright law as of 1999 applies, per a VPC discussion, that law is the Copyright Law of the Republic of Indonesia Consolidated text of law No.6/1982 As amended by law No.7/1987 and Law No.12/1987.[4][5] Per its Chapter II Copyright Validity:

  • Article 26 - The copyright on: a.books, computcr program, pamphlets, typographical arrangemcllt of published works, and all other written works; sermons, lecturers, addresses and other works of utterance? c. visual aids for educational and scientific purposes? songs or music with or without lyrics, including arts of karawitan and phonograms; e. dramatic works, dances (choreographic works), puppet shows, pantomimes; f. all forms of arrs, such 2.S paintings, drawings, engravings, calligraphy, carving, sculptures, collages, applied arts in the form of handy crafting; g. architecture; h. maps; 1. batik art; translatio!lS, interpretations, adaptations, anthologies, J. and other works as a result of changing of form or mode shall be protected for the life of the author and 50 (fifty) years after his death.
  • Article 27 (1) - The copyright on: a. computer programs; b. cinematographic works; phonograrr.s; d. performances; e. broadcasting works; shall be for 50 (fifty) years as from the first publication.
  • Article 27 (2) - The copyright on a photographic work shall be for 25 (twenty five) years as from the first publication of the work.
  • Article 27 (2a) - The copyright on typographical arrangement of a publi'shed work shall be for 25 (twenty five) years as fro m the first publication of the work.

And according to article 12, there shall be no copyright to: a. any result of open meetings of the Highest State Institutions and High State Institutions and other constitutional institutionà b. laws and regulations; court decisions and judicial orders; d. state addresses and government official speeches; e. awards of arbitration boards.

Copyright notes

Copyright notes
Per U.S. Circ. 38a, the following countries are not participants in the Berne Convention or Universal Copyright Convention and there is no presidential proclamation restoring U.S. copyright protection to works of these countries on the basis of reciprocal treatment of the works of U.S. nationals or domiciliaries:
  • East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Marshall Islands, Palau, Somalia, Somaliland, and South Sudan.

As such, works published by citizens of these countries in these countries are usually not subject to copyright protection outside of these countries. Hence, such works may be in the public domain in most other countries worldwide.


  • Works published in these countries by citizens or permanent residents of other countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention or any other treaty on copyright will still be protected in their home country and internationally as well as locally by local copyright law (if it exists).
  • Similarly, works published outside of these countries within 30 days of publication within these countries will also usually be subject to protection in the foreign country of publication. When works are subject to copyright outside of these countries, the term of such copyright protection may exceed the term of copyright inside them.
  • Unpublished works from these countries may be fully copyrighted.
  • A work from one of these countries may become copyrighted in the United States under the URAA if the work's home country enters a copyright treaty or agreement with the United States and the work is still under copyright in its home country.

East Timor has not yet adopted any copyright laws since its independence in 2002. For works completed before 1999, the copyright laws during Indonesian or Portuguese colonization eras apply. For those after 2002, we assume that Indonesian law as of 1999 applies. Which law applies from 1999-2002 is ambiguous, but we assume that Indonesian law as of 1999 applies.

Copyright tags

  • {{PD-TLGov}} - works published by the Government of East Timor, public domain according to the Article 12 of 1982 Indonesian Copyright Law.[4][5]

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Likely not OK Some articles in the Article 12 of 1982 Indonesian Copyright Law may related to this topic:

  1. Article 14 - Provided that the sources are fully cited, the following shall not be deemed as copyright infringement: ... f. modification of any architectural works, such as building construction, based on consideration of technical implementation;
  2. Article 22 - Unless agreed otherwise between the Copyright Holder and the Owner of a creative work in the form of a photograph, painting, drawing, architectural work, sculpture and other artworks, the Owner shall be entitled to without the consent of the Copyright Holder to display the work in a public exhibition or to reproduce it in a catalogue, with detracting from the provisions of Article 18 and Article 19 if said work of art is in the form of a portrait.

See also


  1. East Timor profile - Timeline. BBC. Retrieved on 2018-11-05.
  2. Timor-Leste Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights)[1], WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2018
  3. Readiness Assessment for Cross-Border Paperless Trade: Timor-Leste 2019
  4. a b The Main Characteristics of the Timorese Legal System – a Practical Guide 177. Retrieved on 2021-04-26.
  5. a b the Copyright Law of the Republic of Indonesia Consolidated text of law No.6/1982 As amended by law No.7/1987 and Law No.12/1987. WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved on 2021-04-26.
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