Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Northern Mariana Islands

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Location of Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of 14 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It includes the 14 northernmost islands in the Mariana Archipelago. It does not include the southernmost island of the chain, Guam, which is a separate U.S. territory.

Spain made the islands part of the Spanish East Indies in 1565. In 1899 Spain ceded Guam to the United States and sold the Northern Marianas to Germany. During World War I Japan invaded the islands, and in 1919 they became part of Japan's South Pacific Mandate. After World War II the United States took over administration as part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. A new government and constitution came into effect in 1978 under when the islands obtained commonwealth status within the United States.

Of the organized territories, the United States Copyright Office says that: "U.S. federal copyright law applies in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands but not in American Samoa."[1] This is because section 502(a)(2) of the Northern Marianas Covenant "makes applicable to the Northern Marianas, effective January 9, 1978, such laws of the United States in effect on that date as are 'applicable to Guam and which are of general application to the several States . . .'." Furthermore, "the 1936 Organic Act of the Virgin Islands made the copyright laws applicable to the Virgin Islands (48 U.S.C. 1405q) and the 1954 Organic Act perpetuated that application (48 U.S.C. 1574(c))"[2]

Copyright tags[edit]

Further information: Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States#TAG


Further information: Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States#CUR

Freedom of panorama[edit]

Further information: Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States#FOP


Further information: Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States#Stamps

See also[edit]


  1. Circular 38a: International Copyright Relations of the United States 14. U.S. Copyright Office. Retrieved on 2019-03-14.
  2. The application of Federal laws in ... American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2, p. 468
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