Commons:Copyright rules by territory/State of Palestine

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


Palestine was under Ottoman rule until World War I, then came under the British mandate for Palestine in April 1920. Transjordan was added to the mandate in September 1922. On 17 June 1946 Transjordan became independent. The 1947–1949 Palestine war was fought between Jewish settlers seeking to establish an independent state and the Arab residents of Palestine supported by the neighboring Arab states. It began in November 1947 and continued until March 1949. The British mandate in Palestine formally expired on 15 May 1948. When the ceasefires took effect Egypt controlled the Gaza strip and Jordan controlled the West Bank.

The Six-Day War was fought between Israel and the neighboring Arab states in June 1967. When it ended, Israel had occupied both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, collectively called the Palestinian territories. Parts of the territories came under the political jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority in 1993, following the Oslo Accords, but Israel maintains military control.

Copyright laws

Gaza Strip and the West Bank showing areas under the Palestinian National Authority

The situation regarding copyright is unclear.

  • Under the British mandate, the Copyright Ordinance 1924, based on the UK Copyright Act 1911, was the applicable law.[1] Protected works under the 1911 Act included literary and dramatic works, paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs and architectural works. Copyright lasted for the author's life plus 50 years. Copyright in posthumous works lasted for fifty years from publication.
  • Under Jordan's law, which would presumably have been in force in the West Bank from 1948 to 1967, intellectual property protection was based on Ottoman law.[2] In most cases the Ottoman Empire's Authors’ Rights Act (1910) protected works for the author's life plus 30 years.
  • Under the Egyptian Copyright Law, No. 354 of 1954, protection terminated 50 years after the death of the author or, for works owned by a legal entity, 50 years after the date of publication.
  • The Copyright Act 1911 (extension to Palestine), 1924 Ordinance covered Mandatory Palestine and later the State of Israel, where it remained the governing statute until the Israeli 2007 Copyright Act took effect on 25 May 2008.[3] Under the 2007 law, copyright lasts for life plus 70 years, or for publication + 70 years for anonymous works. The 2007 law did not restore copyright to works whose copyright had expired before it came into effect.[3]

It seems reasonable to assume that 1924 ordinance is still in effect in the parts of the State of Palestine under nominal Palestinian Authority control, with protection for the author's life plus 50 years.[citation needed] The shorter terms of the Jordanian law would no longer be relevant, if they ever were, since works whose copyrights had expired under Jordanian law by 1967 would now also be free of copyright under the 50 year term of the 1924 ordinance. It would be safest to assume that Israeli law is in effect in the areas of the State of Palestine that are fully controlled by Israel.[citation needed]

See also


  1. Rawan Al-Tamimi (2018) "Copyright in the Palestinian Territories: Setting the Scene" in Copyright, Property and the Social Contract: The Reconceptualisation of Copyright, Springer Retrieved on 4 June 2019. ISBN: 978-3-319-95690-9.
  2. Mohammad Issa Mehawesh (February 2014). Translation, Copyright, and Copyright Laws in Jordan. US-China Foreign Language 129-136. Retrieved on 2019-06-04.
  3. a b Israel Copyright Act of 2007. Retrieved on 2019-06-04.
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