Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Jamaica

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Copyright rules: Jamaica
Flag of Jamaica
Map of Jamaica
Standard Life + 95 years
Anonymous Publish + 95 years
Audiovisual Create/publish + 95 years
Terms run to year end Yes
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 JAM
Berne convention 1 January 1994
WTO member 9 March 1995
URAA restoration date 1 January 1996
WIPO treaty 12 June 2002

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


Jamaica was colonized by Spain in 1509. From 1655 it was held by England and then Great Britain until 6 August 1962, when the island became independent.

Jamaica has been a member of the Berne Convention since 1 January 1994, the World Trade Organization since 9 March 1995 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 12 June 2002.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed The Copyright Act (Act No. 5 of 1993) as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Jamaica.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

The 1993 act was modified by the The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1999 and The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 13/2015.[1] The 1999 act clarified the rules for compilations, but otherwise did not affect definitions of works and durations of protection.[3] The 2015 amendment made more extensive changes, including changes to all durations of protection from 50 to 95 years in sections 10, 11 and 12.[4]

General rules

According to The Copyright Act of Jamaica, 1993 as amended by The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2015 No.13,

  • Subject to the provisions of this section, copyright in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work expires at the end of the period of 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.[13/2015 Section 10(1)]
  • Where the authorship of a work referred to in subsection (1) is unknown, copyright in that work expires at the end of the period of 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first made available to the public.[13/2015 Section 10(2)]
  • The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply to computer-generated work, the copyright in which expires at the end of the period of 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.[13/2015 Section 10(4)]
  • In relation to a work of joint authorship references to the death of the author shall be construed as references to the death of the last surviving known author.[13/2015 Section 10(5)]
  • Copyright in a sound recording or film expires at the end of the period of 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made or, where it is made available to the public before the end of that period, 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it is so made available.[13/2015 Section 11(1)]
  • Where, pursuant to an agreement between employer and employee, the copyright in a work created by the employee has vested in the employer, the copyright expires at the end of the period of 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created.[13/2015 Section 13A]

Subject to the provisions of this section, the amendments under sections 10, 11, 12, 13 and 129 made by, and the provisions of sections 13A and 13B incorporated under the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2015, that extend the date for the expiration of copyright or other rights shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act or any other law, be deemed to have come into operation on the 1st day of January, 2012.[13/2015 Section 137A]

Freedom of panorama

COM:FOP Jamaica

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

Symbol OK.svgOK {{FoP-Jamaica}}

  • This section applies to buildings; sculptures, models of buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.[13/2015 Section 74(1)]
  • The copyright in such a work is not infringed by making a graphic work representing it; making a photograph or film of it; or broadcasting or including in a cable programme service a visual image of it.[13/2015 Section 74(2)]
  • The copyright of such a work is not infringed by the issue to the public of copies, or the broadcasting or inclusion in a cable programme service, of anything whose making was, by virtue of this section, not an infringement of copyright.[13/2015 Section 74(3)]

See also


  1. a b c Jamaica Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Copyright Act (Act No. 5 of 1993). Jamaica (1993). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. The Copyright (Amendment) Act. Jamaica (1999). Retrieved on 2018-12-13.
  4. The Copyright (Amendment) Act 13. Jamaica (2015). Retrieved on 2018-12-13.
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