Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Mozambique

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


The Portuguese began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement of the Mozambique region in 1505. Mozambique gained independence on 25 June 1975.

Mozambique has been a member of the Berne Convention since 22 November 2013 and the World Trade Organization since 26 August 1995.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 4/2001 of February 27, 2001 (Copyright Law) as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Mozambique.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database. It repeals and replaces the Code of Copyright approved by Decree-Law No. 46,980 of April 27, 1966.[2][3]

The 2001 law appears to be retroactive: "The Code of Copyright, approved by Decree-Law No. 46,980 of April 27, 1966, enacted in Mozambique by Governmental Decree No. 679/71 of December 7, and all legislation that contradicts this Law, is hereby repealed".[4/2001 Article 78]

General rules

Under Law No. 4/2001 of 27 February 2001,

  • The protection of economic rights shall expire 70 years after the death of the author, even in the case of a work disclosed or published posthumously.[4/2001 Article 22(1)]
  • The economic rights in a work of joint authorship are protected during the lifetime of the last surviving author, and for a further 70 years following his death.[4/2001 Article 23]
  • The economic rights in a work published anonymously or under a pseudonym are protected for 70 years from the date on which the work is legally published for the first time.[4/2001 Article 24(1)]
  • The economic rights in a collective work and in an audiovisual work are protected for 70 years after the work is lawfully made public or after its completion.[4/2001 Article 25]
  • The economic rights in a work of applied art are protected for 70 years from its completion.[4/2001 Article 26]

For the above rules, the counting of periods starts on the first of January of the calendar year following the event that gave rise to the right in question and ends at the close of the calendar year in which the period would normally reach its conclusion.[4/2001 Article 27]

There is no copyright protection for "official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature, or official translations thereof".[4/2001 Article 5a]

Works of folklore

See also: Commons:Paying public domain

"Folklore" means works created on the national territory by anonymous authors or an unknown group, transmitted by successive generations and constituting one of the fundamental elements of the traditional cultural heritage.[4/2001 Glossary 15] "Expressions of folklore" means productions of elements characteristic of the traditional artistic heritage, developed and perpetuated by a community or by individuals and recognized as responding to the wishes of that community, including popular songs, dances and shows, as well as the artistic expression of rituals and productions of folk art.[4/2001 Glossary 13]

Ownership of the copyright in works of folklore vests in the State, which shall exercise its rights through the Council of Ministers, without prejudice to the rights of those who collect, transcribe, arrange or translate them, provided that the collections, arrangements or translations are original and respect the authenticity of the works.[4/2001 Article 31] The protection of works of folklore is not limited in time.[4/2001 Article 50]



See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK. Under Law No. 4/2001 of 27 February 2001 there are no exceptions to copyright protection for works which were already in the public domain. Banknotes are not within the exceptions to copyright. There is a copyright exception for "official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature, or to official translations thereof".[4/2001 Article 5a] Because the exception uses "text", banknotes do not seem to be within the exception.

Copyright protection for collective works, such as banknotes, lasts 70 years under Mozambique law and also under US law, since Mozambique is a party to the Berne Convention. Since that is long before Mozambique gained independence, all Mozambique banknotes are copyrighted. For banknotes that circulated before independence, Portuguese law applies.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK. for reproductions, broadcasts and cable communications to the public executed in the Republic of Mozambique (since 25 June 1975) There is only non-commercial freedom of panorama in Mozambique:

  • It is permitted, without authorization by the author or payment of any remuneration, to reproduce, broadcast or communicate by cable to the public the image of a work of architecture, three-dimensional art, photography or applied art that is permanently located in a place open to the public, except where the image of the work is the principal subject of such reproduction or broadcast or communication and is used for commercial purposes.[4/2001 Article 15]
  • It is permitted ... to reproduce or make available to the public for the purposes of reporting current events by means of photography, cinematography or video, or by broadcasting or communication by cable to the public, to the extent justified by the informatory purpose, a work seen or heard during the said event.[4/2001 Article 14(b)]

The 2001 copyright law of Mozambique appears to be retroactive. In case it is not, the applicable law would be the previous 1966 copyright law, which allows FOP (see below).[3] Therefore, the status of reproductions, broadcasts and cable communications to the public executed before 28 May 2001 is undetermined.

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK for works executed in the Portuguese territory of Mozambique (before 25 June 1975)

Mozambique was considered Portuguese territory before its independence in 25 June 1975, and current jurisprudence generally use Portuguese law to deal with actions executed in former Portuguese overseas territories before that date. Examples: 02S3074,JTRL00024225, JTRL00024030, 7189/2003-4, 0451/05.Related discussion here.

The applicable law was Decreto-Lei n.º 46980, de 27 de Abril de 1966 which allowed FOP:[3]

  • The reproduction and publication by the press, cinema, television or any other mean, of the image of works of architecture or any other kind of plastic arts already divulged by the author is free.[46980/1966 Art.152]


See also: Commons:Stamps

Copyrighted Mozambique copyright law instituted in 2001 states that copyright subsists for 70 years following completion for "works of applied art" which appears to cover stamps.

See also


  1. a b Mozambique Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights)[1], WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2018
  2. Law No. 4/2001 of February 27, 2001 (Copyright Law)[2], Mozambique, 2001
  3. a b c Decreto-Lei n.º 46980 (Rectificações) (27 April 1966).
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