Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Eswatini

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This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Eswatini (up to 2018 Swaziland) relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Eswatini must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Eswatini 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 Eswatini, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.


After the Second Boer War, Swaziland was a British protectorate from 1903 until it regained its independence on 6 September 1968. On 19 April 2018 the official English name was changed from Kingdom of Swaziland to Kingdom of Eswatini, mirroring its Swazi name.

Eswatini has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995 and the Berne Convention since 14 December 1998.[1]

As of 2023, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2018 as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Eswatini. It repealed the British-era Copyright Act, 1912 (Commonwealth Copyright).[1] WIPO holds the text of both laws in their WIPO Lex database.[2][3]

The 2018 copyright act does not appear to be retroactive.[2018 Section 107(2)] It also seems to apply the same copyright term of 50 years in all categories of works, but does not seem to inherit the freedom of panorama clause.

General terms

According to the 2018 Act,

  • Copyright in audio-visual works, collective works, photographs, and computer programmes lasts for 50 years from the creation.[2018 Section 8(1)(a)]
  • Copyright in sound recordings lasts for 50 years from first publication.[2018 Section 8(1)(b)]
  • Copyright in broadcasts lasts for 50 years from first broadcasting.[2018 Section 8(1)(c)]
  • Copyright in programmes carrying signals lasts for 50 years from the first transmission of the signal to the satellite.[2018 Section 8(1)(d)]
  • Copyright in published editions last for 50 years from the first publication of the edition.[2018 Section 8(1)(d)]
  • Other types of literary, musical, and artistic work follow the standard term of life of the author plus 50 years from the end of the year of his death.[2018 Section 8(1)(f)]
  • Copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous literary works lasts for 50 years after the work was first made available to public.[2018 Section 8(3)] Once the identity of the author becomes known, the standard rules at Section 8(1) apply.
  • Copyright in a work of joint authorship lasts for 50 years after the death of the author who dies first, or for the life of the author who dies last, whichever is longer.[2018 Section 8(4)]

Expressions of folklore

See also: Commons:Paying public domain.

The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2018 provides for a domaine public payant regime at "Part IX, Protection of Expressions of Folklore" (Sections 65–71).

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 Not OK. The list of exceptions or limitations to copyright of the 2018 act, at Sections 16–33, does not contain a provision allowing images of artistic works (including architecture as per the definition at Section 2) to be freely distributed for any purposes.

The repealed 1912 act had a freedom of panorama provision at Section 4.(1)(c), that permitted "the making or publishing of paintings, drawings, engravings, or photographs of a work of sculpture or artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situate in a public place or building, or the making or publishing of paintings, drawings, engravings, or photographs (which are not in the nature of architectural drawings or plans) of any architectural work of art."

See also


  1. a b Eswatini Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Copyright Act, 1912 (Commonwealth Copyright). Eswatini (1912). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  3. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2018. Eswatini (2018). Retrieved on 2023-01-03.
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