Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Iraq

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Copyright rules of Iraq
Shortcut: COM:CRT/Iraq
Flag of Iraq
Map of Iraq
Standard Life + 50 years
Anonymous Publish + 50 years
Collective Publish + 50 years
Applied art Publish + 50 years
Common licence tags {{PD-Iraq}}
URAA restoration date none

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

Governing laws

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 3 of 1971 on Copyright as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Iraq.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] This law was amended on 1 May 2004 by Order No. 83, Amendment to the Copyright Law.[3]

General rules

Iraq's copyright law from 1971 protected most works for 25 years from the date of death; snapshot photos were protected for five years from publication and corporate/government works were copyrighted 30 years from publication. (See here for the 1971 law text and the later amendment in English, and here for the original law in Arabic).

In 2004, the CPA non-retroactively amended the law such that the economic rights of author is protected for lifetime of the author and for 50 years from the date of his death, with no exception for simple photographs; corporate/government works are now protected for 50 years from publication.(ART 20). Also, the economic rights relating to the authors of collective works, other than authors of works of applied art, shall be protected for 50 years from the date on which the work was published or made available to the public for the first time. Works which had expired under the previous law remain public domain.

Under 'Law No. 3 of 1971 on Copyright, amended 2004 by Order No. 83, Amendment to the Copyright Law, a work that was first published in Iraq is now in the public domain if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • It is an anonymous work or pseudonymous work and 50 years have passed since the year of its publication
  • It is a work where the copyright holder is a legal entity or a work of applied art and 50 years have passed since the year of its publication
  • It is a photographic or cinematic work that is not compositive (artistic in nature) first published before 1 January 1999
  • It is work published in Iraq before 1 January 1954, and the author died before 1 January 1979
  • It is another kind of work, and 50 years have passed since the year of death of the author (or last-surviving author)
  • It is one of "collections of official documents, such as texts of international laws, regulations and agreements, judicial judgements and various official documents."
  • It is the work of a body corporate, public or private, published by January 1st, 1980 (Article 20, 1971 law).

Treaty issues

Copyright notes

Copyright notes
Per U.S. Circ. 38a., the following countries are not a participant in the Berne Convention or any other treaty on copyright with the United States:
  • Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Nauru, Palau, San Marino and Somalia.

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.
  • 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.

Iraq has enacted Law No. 3 of 1971 on Copyright (Arabic) which came into force on 21 January 1971. Iraq has enacted Regulation No. 10 of 1985 on the National Committee for the Protection of Copyright (Arabic) which came into force on 2 September 1985. Iraq has enacted Order No. 83, Amendment to the Copyright Law (Arabic) (Unofficial English (WIPO) translation) which came into force on 1 May 2004.

Copyright tags

See also Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Iraq}} – photos 50 years after publication, starting from the publication date.



See also: Commons:Currency

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes and coins are not covered by any known exception from copyright protection under Iraqi law. The website of the Central Bank of Iraq, which includes depictions of Iraqi coins and banknotes, has the following footer: "Copyright © 2011. Central Bank of Iraq. All rights reserved. Please read important disclaimer." The disclaimer further states: "All texts, data and information on this site are owned by the CBI. Digitized photographs, graphics, and logos contained are the property of the CBI, and may not be used without permission."

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

X mark.svg Not OK: Excerpted from most recent amendment to Iraq's Copyright Law No. 3 of 1971 passed by Coalition Provisional Authority in 2004.
Article 2 amendment includes the following provisions relevant to FoP:
The protection shall include the works whose method of expression is in writing, sound, drawing, painting or movement, and in particular the following:

4. Works entered under the arts of drawing and painting with lines and colors, engraving, sculpture and architecture.

Article 8 amendment includes the following provisions:

The author holds the exclusive right to exercise the rights in his/her works. Without the written permission of the author or his/her successors, no person shall do any of the following acts:
Reproduce a work in any manner or form, whether transitory or permanent, including onto photographic (including cinematographic) film or onto a digital or electronic storage medium.

Article 20 amendment includes following provisions relevant to FoP:

1. The author’s economic rights provided for in this Law shall be protected throughout the lifetime of the author and for 50 years from the date of his death.
2. The economic rights relating to works of joint authorship shall be protected throughout the lives of all co-authors and for 50 years from the death of the last survivor.


See also Commons:Stamps/Public domain

Copyrighted: All stamps published in Iraq before 1 January 1969 are in the public domain. Use {{PD-Iraq}} to tag them.



  • Iraq Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights)[1], WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2018
  • Law No. 3 of 1971 on Copyright[2] (in Arabic), Iraq, 1971
  • Order No. 83, Amendment to the Copyright Law[3], Iraq, 2004


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.