Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Syria

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Copyright rules of Syria
Shortcut: COM:SYRIA
Flag of Syria
Map of Syria
Standard Life + 50 years
Anonymous Publish + 50 years
Audiovisual Create/publish + 50 years
Applied art Create + 25 years
Terms run to year end Yes
Common licence tags {{PD-Syria}}
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 SYR
Berne convention 11 June 2004
URAA restoration date 11 June 2004

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


Syria was subject to the Ottoman Empire until World War I. It then came under the control of France, which obtained a League of Nation mandate in 1920. The country gained full independence in April 1946.

Syria has been a member of the Berne Convention since 11 June 2004.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (issued by Legislative Decree No. 62/2013) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Syria.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database. It repealed the Law No. 12/2001 on Copyright.[2] An Arabic version of the 2013 law is provided by the General Authority for Radio and TV.[3]

General rules

Under the former Law No. 12/2001, Syria's first ever copyright law[4]:

  • The author was entitled to his copyrights for his lifetime and fifty years thereafter. If the work is a combined effort of more than one author, then the copyrights were entitled for the lifetime and fifty years after the death of the last author party of the work.[12/2001 Art. 22]
  • Work published without mention of the author or with the mention of a pseudonym were entitled to copyrights for 50 years from the date of the first legitimate publication, as long as the author's identity was not revealed in this period.[12/2001 Art. 23]
  • Protection of audiovisual, broadcast, televised or cinematography work was enforceable for 50 years as of the date of producing the work. If the work was offered to the public with the author's consent during such period, protection was enforced for 50 years from such later date.[12/2001 Art. 24]
  • Copyrights of photographic, fine arts or plastic arts were enforceable for 10 years from the date of producing such work.[12/2001 Art. 25]

Under Legislative Decree No. 62/2013,

  • The financial rights of the author are protected throughout his life and for 50 years after the end of the year of his death, unless provided otherwise.[62/2013 Art. 19]
  • The financial rights of authors of joint works are protected for the rest of their lives and for 50 years after the end of the year of death of the last surviving person unless the law provides otherwise.[62/2013 Art. 20]
  • Audiovisual works and collective works are protected for 50 years from the first calendar year following their publication for the first time.[62/2013 Art. 21(a)] In case of non-publication within 50 years from the date of completion of the work, the period is calculated from the first calendar year following the date of the completion of the work.[62/2013 Art. 21(b)]
  • Works published without mentioning the name of the author or a pseudonym are protected for 50 years from the date of their publication for the first time, unless the identity of the author becomes known in this period.[62/2013 Art. 22]
  • Works of applied arts are protected for 25 years from the first calendar year following the year in which the work was completed.[62/2013 Art. 23]
  • Database works are protected for a period of 15 years from the first calendar year following the year in which the work was completed.[62/2013 Art. 23B]

In order to be hosted on Commons, all works must be in the public domain in the United States as well as in their source country. Syrian works are currently in the public domain in the United States if their copyright had expired in Syria on the date of restoration (June 11, 2004) and the work was published before this date.[5]

Works not protected

Under Legislative Decree No. 62/2013, there is no protection for[62/2013 Art. 4]:

  • Ideas, procedures, methods of work, mathematical concepts, principles, abstract facts, discoveries and data, but protection applies to the innovative expression of any of them.
  • Heavenly books except their designs and style of writing and recordings of recitations.
  • Laws, regulations, judicial decisions, arbitral tribunal rules, international agreements, administrative decisions and other official documents and official translations thereof.
  • News and other events that are characterized as mere press information.

Copyright tags

See also Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Syria}} – Under the 2001 law, photographic work was protected for 10 years starting from the production date. As Syria Joined Berne Convention on November 2004, photographic works produced starting from 1994 should be protected for 25 years starting from the production date (minimum protection period set by Berne Convention). Under the 2013 law, protection is for the author's life + 50 years. Photographic work produced before 1994 is public domain.



See also: Commons:Currency

X mark.svg Not OK. Syrian banknotes and coins are likely to be protected by copyright. The 2001 copyright law of Syria does not explicitly exempt the designs of banknotes and coins, only official documents and administrative decisions. In 2013, Syrian copyright law was substantially changed with the repeal of the 2001 copyright law. However, there does not appear to be any changes to the protection of banknotes or coins.[62/2013 Art. 4]

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

X mark.svg Not OK. Legislative Decree No. 62/2013 only allows broadcasting of images of works in public places.

  • Without the permission of the author and without making any compensation, the author may transfer works of fine arts or applied works, or plastic or architectural works to the public through the materials of the broadcasting stations if such works are permanently present in public places.[62/2013 Art. 39]


  1. a b Syrian Arab Republic Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (issued by Legislative Decree No. 62/2013) (in Arabic). Syria (2013). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. Decree to apply the provisions of the law on the protection of copyright and related rights (in Arabic). General Authority for Radio and TV (2013-09-17). Retrieved on 2019-01-24.
  4. Law No. 12/2001. Syria (2001).
  5. Circular 38a: International Copyright Relations of the United States (PDF) p. 9. United States Copyright Office (March 2009). Retrieved on 2009-06-08.
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.