Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Luxembourg

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

Governing laws

Luxembourg has been a member of the Berne Convention since 20 June 1888, the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 14 March 2010.[1] As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law of April 18, 2001, on Copyright and Related Rights and Databases as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Luxembourg.[1]

WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] The 2001 Law was amended by the Law of April 18, 2004 (LU043), Law of May 22, 2009 (LU055) and Law of April 25, 2018 (LU053).[3][4] It was also amended by Law of February 10, 2015, transposing Directive 2011/77/EU of the European Parliament ...[5] The 2001 Law applied to works that had not entered the public domain before its entry into force.[4-18-2001 Art.96(1)] It also applied to all works which, on 1 July 1995, were protected in at least one Member State of the European Union.[4-18-2001 Art.97]

General rules

Under the Law of April 18, 2001 as modified in 2015,

  • Copyright extend for 70 years after the death of the author in favor of his heirs and assigns.[4-18-2001 Art.9(1)]
  • When the work is the product of collaboration and the contributions are inseparable, copyright exists for the benefit of all interested parties until 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.[4-18-2001 Art.9(2)]
  • Protection of audiovisual works expires 70 years after the death of the last survivor of the following persons: the principal director, the author of the screenplay, dialogues and musical compositions, with or without words, specially created for use in the work, whether or not sponsors.[4-18-2001 Art.9(2)]
  • Copyright in anonymous and pseudonymous works lasts 70 years from the day when the work was lawfully made available to the public.[4-18-2001 Art.9(3)] If the identity of the author of an anonymous or pseudonymous work is established, the author or his heirs may claim protection for the duration specified in paragraph 1.[4-18-2001 Art.9(3)]
  • Directed works are created by several authors at the initiative and under the direction of a natural or legal person who publishes it under their name, and in which the contributions of the authors are designed to be integrated into the collection. In the absence of of any contractual provision to the contrary, the publisher has the original economic and moral rights in the work.[4-18-2001 Art.6] Copyright in directed works lasts 70 year from the year of publication.[4-18-2001 Art.9(3)]
  • Any person who, after the expiration of protection by copyright, publishes or lawfully communicates to the public for the first time a work not previously published, is vested with property rights equivalent to those enjoyed by the author for a period of 25 years from the time when the work was first published or communicated to the public.[4-18-2001 Art.9(4)]
  • All dates in this article are calculated from 1 January following the relevant event.[4-18-2001 Art.9(5)]

Copyright in the United States

Luxembourg was a member of the Berne Convention when the Uruguay Round Agreements Act came into effect in the United States on 1 January 1996.[1] At that time, the governing law was the Loi du 29 mars 1972 sur le droit d'auteur (Law of 29 March 1972 on Copyright). The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg provides an online version of this law.[6] Works originating in Luxembourg are usually protected under the copyright rules of the United States if they are a type of work that may be protected by copyright in the United States, were published after 1924 and were either protected in Luxembourg on the URAA date of 1 January 1996, or were published after that date. The general rules in Luxembourg on the URAA date were:

  • Literary or artistic works as defined under the Law of 1972 were subject to protection.[3-29-1972 Art.1]
  • Copyright extended for 50 years after the death of the author.[3-29-1972 Art.2]
  • For works of joint authorship, copyright extended for 50 years after the death of the last surviving author.[3-29-1972 Art.6]
  • Copyright in photographic works and works of applied art extended for fifty years from their creation.[3-29-1972 Art.4]
  • Copyright in an anonymous or pseudonymous work expired fifty years after the work was made accessible to the public.[3-29-1972 Art.8]

Some works may be in the public domain in the United States but not in Luxembourg. These are works that entered the public domain before the URAA date, then returned to copyright protection with 8 September 1997 amendment to the 1972 law, which extended the term for literary or artistic works including photographs to death plus 70 years.[3-29-1997 Art.2] This law was retroactive, but stated that "Works that passed into the public domain before July 1, 1995, and have already been freely exploited may continue to be exploited by the same persons, who shall be exempted from copyright insofar as they engage in the same forms of exploitation."[3-29-1997 Art.49][7]

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 Not OK {{NoFoP-Luxembourg}} Only incidental inclusion allowed. Under the Law of April 18, 2001 as modified in 2015,

Threshold of originality

See also: Commons:Threshold of originality

According to Jean-Luc Putz, the threshold of originality in Luxembourg is not as strict as in UK but not as liberal as in Germany. During the legislation the intent was to orientate with other Benelux states or France.[8]

See also


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