Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Serbia

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


The present state of Serbia was formed when the much-reduced Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, broke up into Serbia and Montenegro in 2006. In 2008 Kosovo declared its independence of Serbia.

Serbia has been a member of the Berne Convention since 17 June 1930 as inherited from the former Yugoslavia, to which the declaration of continuation made on 19 September 2006, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 13 June 2003.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (Official Gazette Republic of Serbia No. 104/2009, 99/2011, 119/2012 and 29/2016) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Serbia.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] The government of Serbia holds Serbian and English texts of the 2009 law on their website.[3][4]

General rules

A work published in Serbia will be in the public domain if its copyright expired pursuant to the former Yugoslav Copyright Act of 1978 which provided for copyright term of the life of the author plus 50 years, respectively 25 years for photograph or a work of applied art. This applies to works already in the public domain on or before December 29, 2004 when a new copyright act became valid. The work must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A work of known authorship and the author died before January 1, 1954
  • An anonymous work published before January 1, 1954
  • A photograph or a work of applied art published before January 1, 1973

According to the 2009 Copyright Law of Serbia,

  • Pecuniary rights last for the life of an author and 70 years after his/her death.[104/2009 Art.102(1)]
    • Moral rights of an author last even after the expiration of his/her pecuniary rights.[104/2009 Art.102(2)]
    • If an author has created a work as an employee in the performance of his/her duties, the employer ... holds exclusive pecuniary rights on its exploitation ... for 5 years from completion of that work.[104/2009 Art.98(1)] The author then acquires the exclusive pecuniary rights.[104/2009 Art.98(3)]
    • Co-authors’ pecuniary rights expire 70 years from the death of the author that was the last to die.[104/2009 Art.103(1)]
  • Pecuniary rights for an anonymous or pseudonymous work expire 70 years from the date of its disclosure if the author's identity is not revealed during this term.[104/2009 Art.103(2)]
  • Copyright on collective works lasts for 70 years from the date of the legal publication of the work.[104/2009 Art.103(3)]
  • The term of protection of a film expires 70 years from the death of director, scriptwriter, dialogue author or the author of the music specifically composed for the film, whoever dies last.[104/2009 Art.104(2)]
  • The term of copyright protection expires 70 years from the creation of the work if the term of its protection is not calculated from the date of death of the author or co-author and if it has not been lawfully published during such period of time.[104/2009 Art.105]
  • All time periods used to determine expiration date of pecuniary rights of an author are calculated from 1 January of the year following the one in which the event relevant for the beginning of the period had occurred.[104/2009 Art.106]

Not protected


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

According to the 2009 Copyright Law of Serbia,

  • The protection of copyright shall not apply to general ideas, procedures and methods of operations or mathematical concepts as such, as well as concepts, principles and instructions included in a work of authorship.[104/2009 Art.6(1)]
  • The following shall not be deemed works of authorship: 1) Laws, decrees and other regulations; 2) Official materials of state bodies and bodies performing public functions; 3) Official translations of regulations and official materials of state bodies and bodies performing public functions; 4) Submissions and other documents presented in the administrative or court proceedings.[104/2009 Art.6(2)]

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-SerbiaGov}} – for public domain Serbian official works, state symbols, stamps, money etc.
  • {{PD-Serbia}} – for works whose author died before 1954 or published before 1954 if anonymous (public domain prior to introduction of the new law in 2004)
  • {{PD-SCGGov}} – for public domain Serbian-Montenegro official works, state symbols, stamps, money etc.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK {{FoP-Serbia}}, if the work is displayed in an open public space. Under the 2009 copyright law,

  • Any work that is permanently displayed in a street, a square or some other open public places may be reproduced in two dimensions and its copies thus made may be put on the market, as well as communicated to the public in some other way, without the author's permission and without paying remuneration.[104/2009 Art.51]


See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK template:PD-SerbiaGov

See also


  1. a b Serbia Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-13.
  2. Law on Copyright and Related Rights (Official Gazette Republic of Serbia No. 104/2009, 99/2011, 119/2012 and 29/2016). Serbia (2016). Retrieved on 2018-11-13.
  3. Copyright Law from 2009 (in Serbian). (Archive)
  4. Copyright Law from 2009 (in English). (Archive)
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