Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Myanmar

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


Burma became a British colony after 1886. The country regained independence on 4 January 1948. Its official name was changed to Myanmar in 1989, although the name Burma is still widely used.[1]

Myanmar has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995.[2]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed The Copyright Act of 1911, promulgated in 1914, as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Myanmar.[2] WIPO holds the text of the Burma Copyright Act of 1914 in their WIPO Lex database. This incorporates the United Kingdom Copyright Act of 1911 with some modifications concerning administration.[3] Law No. 15/2019 of May 24, 2019 repealed and replaced the 1911 Act. WIPO Lex holds the official Burmese version of this law.[4]


According to the Copyright Act 1914 of Burma,

  • For photographs, copyright expires 50 years after the date that the original negative from which the photograph was directly or indirectly derived was made.[1914 Section 21]
  • For original literary, dramatic or musical works, or an engraving, published in the author's lifetime, or an artistic work (other than an engraving or photograph) published in the author's lifetime or afterwards: 50 years have passed since the date of the author's death.[1914 Section 3]
  • The copyright in a work of joint authorship expires 50 years after the death of the author who first dies, or upon the death of the author who dies last, whichever period is longer.[1914 Section 3, 16(1)]
  • With an original literary, dramatic or musical work or an engraving that was not published, or performed or delivered in public in the author's lifetime, copyright expires after 50 years have passed since the date when the work was published, or performed or delivered in public, whichever occurs first.[1914 Section 17(1)] If the work is of joint authorship, it must not have been published, or performed or delivered in public, in the lifetime of the author who died last.[1914 Section 17(1)]
  • For a work prepared by or published by or under the direction or control of any government department, copyright expires when 50 years have passed since the date when the work was first published.[1914 Section 18]

The law of 2019 replaces the Copyright Act 1914 of Burma. It appears to have similar provisions.[4]

Copyright tags


See also: Commons:Copyright tags

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK for 3D works, buildings, models of buildings, and works of artistic craftsmanship; OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK for most 2D works. {{FoP-Myanmar}} According to the Burma Copyright Act 1914,

  • It is not an infringement of copyright to make or publish paintings, drawings, engravings or photographs of (1) a work of sculpture or artistic craftsmanship permanently situated in a public place, or (2) an architectural work of art (except that architectural drawings or plans may not be copied).[1914 Section 2(1){iii)]
  • "Artistic work" is defined as including "works of painting, drawing, sculpture and artistic craftsmanship, and architectural works of art and engravings and photographs", which suggests that works of artistic craftsmanship do not include paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings, photographs and architectural works of art.[1914 Section 35(1)]
  • An "architectural work of art" is any building or structure having an artistic character or design or any model for such building or structure, but does not include processes or methods of construction.[1914 Section 35(1)]

The 2019 Act has kept these provisions, with only some little changes on grammar and composition of terms.


See also: Commons:Stamps

Red copyright.svg Under S.18 of the Copyright Act of 1911 (promulgated 1914 and sometimes known as the 1914 Act), Government works of Myanmar are copyright for 50 years from first publication (before 1 January 1972).


  1. Should it be Burma or Myanmar?. BBC (26 September 2007). Retrieved on 2019-01-27.
  2. a b Myanmar Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. Copyright Act of 1911. Burma (1914). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  4. a b Copyright Law (Law No. 15/2019 of May 24, 2019) (24 May 2019). Retrieved on 2021-02-20.
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