Commons:Copyright rules by territory/South Sudan

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

Governing laws

South Sudan gained its independence from the Republic of the Sudan on 9 July 2011.[1] Article 198 of the Constitution of the South Sudan declares that "All laws of South Sudan shall remain in force [...] unless new action are taken [...]." Section 35 of the Investment Promotion Act (2009)] states: "The Government shall protect the intellectual property rights of all persons and investors in Southern Sudan and shall enforce rights to trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in accordance with any related international conventions to which the Republic of the Sudan is a signatory."[2]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 1996 as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature.[3] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[4]

General rules

Under the 1996 Act,

  • The protection of economic rights in a work shall last during the author’s life and 50 years after his death.[1996 Section 13(2)]
  • The term of protection shall last 25 years from the date of publication of the following works:
    • photographic pictures and cinematographic films and other audiovisual works.[1996 Section 13(3a)]
    • works which are published for the first time after the author’s death.[1996 Section 13(3b)]
    • works published under unknown pseudonym or anonymously; the term shall start to run from the date of first publication.[1996 Section 13(3c)]
  • In relation to a joint work the period shall start to run from the date of death of the last surviving author.[1996 Section 13(4)]

Treaty status

Copyright notes

Copyright notes
Per U.S. Circ. 38a, the following countries are not participants in the Berne Convention or Universal Copyright Convention and there is no presidential proclamation restoring U.S. copyright protection to works of these countries on the basis of reciprocal treatment of the works of U.S. nationals or domiciliaries:
  • East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Marshall Islands, Palau, Somalia, Somaliland, and South Sudan.

As such, works published by citizens of these countries in these countries are usually not subject to copyright protection outside of these countries. Hence, such works may be in the public domain in most other countries worldwide.


  • Works published in these countries by citizens or permanent residents of other countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention or any other treaty on copyright will still be protected in their home country and internationally as well as locally by local copyright law (if it exists).
  • Similarly, works published outside of these countries within 30 days of publication within these countries will also usually be subject to protection in the foreign country of publication. When works are subject to copyright outside of these countries, the term of such copyright protection may exceed the term of copyright inside them.
  • Unpublished works from these countries may be fully copyrighted.
  • A work from one of these countries may become copyrighted in the United States under the URAA if the work's home country enters a copyright treaty or agreement with the United States and the work is still under copyright in its home country.

South Sudan became independent of Sudan in 2011, but has yet to sign any international copyright treaties.

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 1996, article 14 covers restrictions on copyright, i.e. cases where copyright protection does not apply. It states that "newspapers, magazines, periodicals, radio and television may: ... (c) publish or convey any photograph taken on the occasion of a public event or a photograph concerning an official or famous person; in all such cases the title of the work reproduced and the name of its author shall be mentioned." This does not allow other uses of photographs, e.g. for outdoor advertising, so would not be acceptable for Commons.

Note that due to lack of a copyright treaty, most works from South Sudan are in the public domain in the United States and most other countries. However, files uploaded to Commons must also be free in the country of origin.

See also


  1. South Sudan country profile. BBC News (6 August 2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-07.
  2. Investment Promotion Act (2009). South Sudan (2009). Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
  3. South Sudan Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  4. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 1996. South Sudan (2018). 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