Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Laos

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


Laos became a French protectorate in 1893 and regained independence on 22 October 1953.

Laos has been a member of the Universal Copyright Convention since 16 September 1955, the Berne Convention since 14 March 2012 and the World Trade Organization since 2 February 2013.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Laos.[1] WIPO holds the Lao language text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] As of 2018, SBLAW of Vietnam provided an English language version of the 2017 IP law on their website.[3]

The new law does not include radical changes, but clarifies that broadcasts may be made over new technologies such as WiFi and the Internet.[4] "This law supersedes the Law on Intellectual Property No. 01/NA dated December 20, 2011, and regulations and provisions which contradict this law, are hereby repealed".[38/NA/2017 Article 170]

The former governing law was the Law No. 08/NA of December 24, 2007, on Intellectual Property, in force on April 14, 2008.[5]

General rules

Under Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property, the term of copyright shall begin on the date the work is created and shall continue to the end of the calendar year of the dates described below:

  • Except as otherwise provided in this article, 50 years after the date of death of the author, or for a work of joint authorship, fifty years after the date of death of the last surviving author.[38/NA/2017 Article 113.1]
  • For anonymous or pseudonymous works, 50 years from the date the work was lawfully made available to the public.[38/NA/2017 Article 113.2]
  • For a cinematographic work, 50 years from the date the work was made available to the public with the consent of the author, or, failing such an event within fifty years from the making of such a work, fifty years from the making.[38/NA/2017 Article 113.3]
  • For applied art, 25 years from the date of creation.[38/NA/2017 Article 113.4]

Not protected


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

The following are ineligible for copyright protection: 1. News of the day or miscellaneous facts having the character of mere items of press information; 2. Ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such; 3. Official texts of a legislative, administrative and legal nature, and official translations of such texts.[38/NA/2017 Article 94]

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

{{PD-Laos}} – Work first published in Laos and now in the public domain because its copyright protection has expired.


See also: Commons:Currency

Purple question mark.svg Unsure There seems no specific mentions about banknotes in the Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property. Banknotes are not mentioned as artistic works. It is not clear if the government's right to hold copyright extends to banknotes.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK. Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property allows only incidental use:

  • "reproducing, by photography or cinematography, images of works of fine art, photographs, and other artistic works, and works of applied art, provided such works have already been published, publicly displayed, or communicated to the public, where such reproduction is incidental to the photographic or cinematographic work and is not the object of the photographic or cinematographic work."[38/NA/2017 Article 115.3]
  • "For the purpose of reporting current events by means of photography, cinematography, broadcasting or communication to the public by wire, literary or artistic works seen or heard in the course of the event may, to the extent justified by the informatory purpose, be reproduced and made available to the public. The above acts shall not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and shall not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author."[38/NA/2017 Article 115]


See also: Commons:Stamps

Copyrighted. Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property does not mention stamps, and nothing that could be interpreted as stamps is included in the list of unprotected works.[38/NA/2017 Article 94]

See also


  1. a b Lao People's Democratic Republic Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property (in Lao). Laos (2017). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. Law No. 38/NA Law on Intellectual Property (Amended). National Assembly. Retrieved on 2018-12-18.
  4. Tilleke & Gibbins (May 25, 2018) New Law Reforms Lao Intellectual Property Regime[1], Laos
  5. Law No. 08/NA of December 24, 2007, on Intellectual Property. Laos (2007). Retrieved on 2018-011-10.
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