Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Solomon Islands

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

Governing laws

The Solomon Islands was made a British protectorate in June 1893. The country became a sovereign state on 7 July 1978 as "Solomon Islands" (without "the").

Solomon Islands became a member of the World Trade Organization on 25 July 1996, and the Berne Convention since 4 July 2019.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright Act 1987 (Cap 138) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Solomon Islands.[1] WIPO holds the Revised Edition 1996 of this act on their WIPO Lex database.[2] The act repeals and replaces the Copyright Act 1911 of the United Kingdom.[138/1987–1996 Preamble]


Under the Copyright Act 1987 (Cap 138) Revised Edition 1996,

  • Copyright subsists in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, either unpublished but made by a qualified person, or first published in Solomon Islands, or first published by a qualified person.[138/1987–1996 Art 3 (1)]
  • A "literary work" is any work which is written, spoken or sung and includes any written table, compilation or computer program.[138/1987–1996 Art 2]
  • A "dramatic work" includes a choreographic show or other dumb show if described in writing in the form in which the show is to be presented; a scenario or script for a cinematograph film; but does not include a cinematograph film as distinct from the scenario or script for a cinematograph film.[138/1987–1996 Art 2]
  • An "artistic work" is any painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph; any building or model for or of any building; or any other work of artistic craftsmanship.[138/1987–1996 Art 2]


Under the Copyright Act 1987 (Cap 138) Revised Edition 1996,

  • Copyright in general lasts 50 years after the author's death.[138/1987–1996 Art 3(3)]
  • If a literary, dramatic or musical work was not made public (published, performed, offered for sale or broadcast) before the author died, copyright lasts 50 years after it was made public.[138/1987–1996 Art 3(4-5)]
  • If the work is an engraving that was not published before the death of the author, or is a photograph, copyright lasts until 50 years after the work is first published.[138/1987–1996 Art 3(6)]
  • Works produced by collaboration between two or more authors where the individual contributions are not separate are protected until 50 years after the last surviving author died.[138/1987–1996 Art 3(7)]
  • Copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous work other than photographs lasts until 50 years after it was published, unless it is a work of joint authorship where the contributions cannot be separated and the identity of one of the authors is generally known or can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry before the end of this period.[138/1987–1996 Art 4]

In the above, "50 years after [event]" means "until the end of the period of fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which [event] happened".

Work made for hire or commissioned

When a person commissions and pays for a photograph, portrait or engraving, they own the copyright in the work. Where a work is made by an employee of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical for the purpose of publication in a periodical, the proprietor has copyright for publication of the work in a periodical, but the author retains copyright for any other use. Otherwise, copyright in a work made in the course of an author's employment is owned by the employer.[138/1987–1996 Art 5]

Work made for the government

The Government owns copyright in an original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work first published in Solomon Islands if first published by or under the direction or control of the Government. For a literary, dramatic or musical work the copyright lasts as long as the work is unpublished, then until 50 years after the work is first published.[138/1987–1996 Art 31] Copyright in an engraving or photograph lasts until 50 years after it is first published, and for other artistic works for 50 years after the work is made.[138/1987–1996 Art 31]

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OK: If a sculpture or work of artistic craftsmanship is permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public, copyright is not infringed by a painting, drawing, engraving or photograph of the work.[138/1987–1996 Art 7(7)] The copyright in a work of architecture is not infringed by the making of a painting, drawing, engraving or photograph of the work.[138/1987–1996 Art 7(8)]


  1. a b Solomon Islands : Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO Lex (2019). Retrieved on 2018-10-26.
  2. Copyright Act. Solomon Islands (1996). Retrieved on 2018-10-26.
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