Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Mauritania

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


France began to extend its control north from the Senegal River area into what is now Mauritania in the late 19th century. Mauritania was part of French West Africa from 1920. The country gained independence in 1960.

Mauritania has been a member of the Berne Convention since 6 February 1973, the Bangui Agreement since 8 February 1982 and the World Trade Organization since 31 May 1995.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, did not list any copyright law enacted by the legislature of Mauritania.[1] A report on Mauritania on the World Trade Organization website in March 2009 stated that Mauritania had not yet notified the WTO of its intellectual property rights legislation, and had not ratified the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement.[2]

The WTO stated that the legislative and regulatory framework of copyright in Mauritania had undergone a major reform with the adoption of Law No. 2012-038 of 17 July 2012 on literary and artistic property, but implementing legislation had not been adopted.[2] In November 2018 Loi No 2012-038 relative à la propriété littéraire et artistique was held on the website of the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle.[3] Following a website reorganization, the document is no longer available.[4]

General rules

According to the 2012 copyright act Loi No 2012-038 relative à la propriété littéraire et artistique,

  • Protection lasts for 70 years after the death of the author.[2012-038 Art. 53]
  • For joint works, protection lasts for 70 years after death of the last surviving author.[2012-038 Art. 54]
  • For collective and audiovisual works, protection lasts for 70 years after creation, public disclosure if within 70 years of creation or publication if within 70 years of creation, whichever is latest.[2012-038 Art. 55, 57]
  • For pseudonymous, collective or posthumous work, protection last for 70 years after the date of its publication or creation, whatever is the latest.[2012-038 Art. 56, 59]
  • In the case of photographic works and works of applied art, protection lasts for 70 years after the date of creation.[2012-038 Art. 58]

All terms run to the end of the year in which they expire.

Traditional cultural heritage and national works: not free

See also: Commons:Paying public domain

The 2012 copyright law gives protection to works of traditional cultural heritage and national works that have fallen into the public domain.[2012-038 Art. 8]

  • Traditional cultural heritage works consist of works of classical folk music; musical works and folk songs; popular expressions, created, developed and perpetuated within the national community and characteristic of the country's traditional culture; stories, poetry, dances and popular performances; works of popular art such as drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture, pottery and mosaic; work on metal objects, wood, jewelry, basketry and needlework, carpets and textiles.[2012-038 Art. 8]
  • National works that have fallen into the public domain shall consist of literary or artistic works whose term of protection of economic rights for the benefit of their author and rights holders under the provisions of this law has come to an end.[2012-038 Art. 8]

The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Unit is responsible for protecting works in the public domain and works of traditional cultural heritage.[2012-038 Art. 139] Exploitation of these works is subject to authorization granted by the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Unit. When the exploitation is for profit, the Unit receives a royalty.[2012-038 Art. 140] The royalties are intended to finance the recording and preservation of these works.[2012-038 Art. 140]

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK in most places.

Reproduction or communication to the public of a work of architecture or the fine arts, a work of the applied arts or a photographic work shall be considered lawful, without permission of the author or remuneration, if it is permanently located in a public place, with the exception of art galleries, museums and classified cultural and natural sites.[2012-038 Art. 47]


  1. a b Mauritania Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. a b Examen des Politiques Commerciales. Rapport du Secrétariat. Mauritanie (in French). World Trade Organization. Retrieved on 2019-03-31.
  3. Loi No 2012-038 relative à la propriété littéraire et artistique (in French). Mauritania (2012). Retrieved on 2018-11-04. (dead link)
  4. Intellectual Property. Literary and Artistic Property. Lois. OAPI.
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