Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Republic of the Congo

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


Middle Congo was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. The Republic of the Congo was established on the 28th of November 1958 and gained independence from France in 1960.

The Republic of the Congo has been a member of the Berne Convention since 8 May 1962, the Bangui Agreement since 8 February 1982 and the World Trade Organization since 27 March 1997.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 24/82 of July 7, 1982 on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of the Republic of the Congo.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] All earlier provisions contrary to this Law, in particular Law No. 57-298, of March 11, 1957, and Ordinance 30-70, of August 18, 1970, shall be repealed.[24/82 Art. 103]

General rules

Under the 1982 law,

  • The standard term of protection in the author's life + 50 years.[24/82 Art. 61]
  • For joint works, protection is for the last surviving author's life + 50 years.[24/82 Art 62]
  • Anonymous or pseudonymous works are protected for 50 years since the date of creation.[24/82 Art 63]
  • A photographic work is protected for 25 years since its creation.[24/82 Art 65]
  • A cinematographic work is protected for 50 years since the date of its creation.[24/82 Art 64]
  • "Laws, decisions of courts or of administrative bodies and official translations thereof" are not eligible for copyright protection.[24/82 Art.14]

Public domain and folklore: not free

See also: Commons:Paying public domain

Under the 1982 law, on the expiry of the terms of protection the authors' works shall fall into the public domain. The right of exploitation of works in the public domain shall be administered by the professional body of authors.[24/82 Art.84] The public performance and reproduction of such works shall require authorization from that body. The authorization shall be granted, in the case of a profit-making event, against payment of a royalty calculated on the gross revenue from exploitation. The product of such royalties shall be devoted to cultural and social ends for the benefit of Congolese authors.[24/82 Art.85]

Folklore shall belong originally to the national heritage. Folklore means all literary and artistic productions created on the national territory by authors presumed to be Congolese nationals or by Congolese ethnic communities, passed from generation to generation and constituting one of the basic clements of the national traditional cultural heritage.[24/82 Art.15] Works of national folklore shall be protected without limitation in time.[24/82 Art.16] The public performance, or reproduction by any means whatsoever, of national folklore, with a view to exploitation for profit-making purposes shall be subject to prior authorization against payment of a fee. The revenue from such fees shall be used for cultural and social purposes of benefit to Congolese authors.[24/82 Art.18]



See also: Commons:Currency

OK. Bank of Central African States, which issues Central African CFA franc used in the Republic of the Congo, is based in Cameroon. Article 3c of the main IP law of Cameroon, the 2000 Copyright law, explicitly excludes banknotes and coins from copyright protection.

Please use {{PD-CA-CFA-franc}} for Central African CFA franc images.

See also: COM:CUR Cameroon

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 Not OK: Incidental use only for photography. Free use in film and television. Under the 1982 law, the following uses of a protected work, either in the original language or in translation, shall be permissible without the author's consent.[24/82 Art.33]:

  • For the purposes of reporting on a current event by means of photography, cinematography or communication to the public, the reproduction or making available to the public, to the extent justified by the informatory purpose, of any work that can be seen or heard in the course of such current event.[24/82 Art.33(3)]
  • The reproduction of works of art and of architecture, in a film or a television broadcast, and the communication to the public of the works so reproduced, if those works are permanently located in a place where they can be viewed by the public or are included in the film or in the broadcast only by way of background or incidental to the main subject.[24/82 Art.33(4)]

See also


  1. a b Republic of the Congo Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Law No. 24/82 of July 7, 1982 on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights. Republic of the Congo (1982). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
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