Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Sudan

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


In 1898 the British defeated the Mahdist State and began to govern Sudan jointly with Egypt. Sudan obtained self-government in 1953 and full independence on 1 January 1956.

Sudan has been a member of the Berne Convention since 28 December 2000.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Act 1996 as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Sudan.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]

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 starts 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)]

Government works


See also: Commons:Government works

Under the 1996 law copyright does not extend to state emblems and symbols or official documents.[1996 Section 6] "Official documents" means the official documents issued by the State or its institution, corporation or unit and which, by virtue of their specialization, are issued for publication to the public, including laws, Presidential or administrative orders, international agreements and judicial judgments, but not including military documents, secret agreements and deliberations of secret sessions in courts or legislative bodies".[1996 Section 3]

Folklore: not free

See also: Commons:Paying public domain

National folklore of the Sudanese community is deemed to be the property of the State. The State represented by the Ministry of Culture and Information, shall endeavor to protect works of folklore by all legal ways and means, and shall exercise the rights of an author in cases of mutilation, transformation and commercial exploitation.[1996 Section 7]

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags


See also: Commons:Currency

  • OK: Banknote designs before 18 December 1996
  •  Not OK: Banknote designs on or after 18 December 1996

Sudan's first copyright law entered into force on 18 December 1996 and did not extend protection to works already in the public domain. Banknotes issued before this date are therefore in the public domain in Sudan. Because these banknotes were in the public domain in Sudan before it joined the Berne Convention (28 December 2000), they are also in the public domain in the United States and may be uploaded to Commons.

The status of banknote designs released after 18 December 1996 is unclear. Under Sudanese copyright law, "official documents" are in the public domain, but banknotes may not fall under the definition of "official documents". If that definition does not include banknotes, then banknotes will be protected for 50 years after the death of the last contributing author.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 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." However, this does not allow other uses of photographs, e.g. for outdoor advertising, so would not be acceptable for Commons.

See also


  1. a b Sudan Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Act 1996. Sudan (1996). 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