Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Tanzania

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


In the late 19th century Germany formed German East Africa, which became the British colony of Tanganyika after World War I. Zanzibar was a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tanzania has been a member of the Berne Convention since 25 July 1994 and the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 1999 as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Tanzania.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 1999 became operational from December, 31, 1999.[3][4]

Special laws apply to works originating in Zanzibar, which are covered by the Zanzibar Copyright Act, 2003.[5]

General rules

Prior to 1966 {{PD-UKGov}} applies.[6] The general copyright term, both before and after independence, is 50 years after the death of the last surviving author.

Under the 1999 Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act a work first published in Tanzania is now in the public domain if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • It is an anonymous work or pseudonymous work and 50 years have passed since the date of its publication (or creation, whatever date is the latest)
  • It is an audiovisual work, and 50 years have passed since the date of its publication (or creation, whatever date is the latest)
  • It is a work of applied art and 25 years have passed since the date of its creation
  • It is another kind of work, and 50 years have passed since the year of death of the author (or last-surviving author)
  • It is one of "laws and decisions of courts and administrative bodies as well as to official translations therefore"

For all post 1999 cases {{PD-Tanzania}} would apply.

Freedom of panorama


See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

  • Outside of Zanzibar:  Not OK for photographs ("still images"), OK for audio-visual works ("moving images or videos", use {{FoP-Tanzania}} only for the latter purposes)
  • In Zanzibar:  Not OK except for photographs of public "folklore"

According to article 12 (6) of the "Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act" (1999), reproduction of works of art and works of architecture is permitted in audio-visual and video recordings, if the work is permanently located in a place where it can be viewed by the public.

Per Part I, Preliminary provisions, ""audiovisual work" means a work that consists of a series of related images which impart the impression of motion, with or without accompanying sounds, susceptible of being made visible, and where accompanied by sounds, susceptible of being made audible."

Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania, has a separate copyright law, the Zanzibar Copyright Act, 2003. It does not allow for a free reproduction of works in public premises, except for the works of folklore that are permanently located in a place visible by the public (Article 29-II). In this case, it may be reproduced in the form of a photograph, a film or a television broadcasting.

See also


  1. a b Tanzania Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 1999. Tanzania (1999). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  3. Samuel Wangwe et al.. Country Case Study for Study 9: Tanzania 9. Commission on Intellectual Property Rights. Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
  4. Stephen Mtetewaunga (October 1999). Presentation of the new copyright act of Tanzania. WIPO. Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
  5. The Zanzibar Copyright Act, 2003. Zanzibar. Retrieved on 2018-11-07.
  6. Johansein (4 November 2010). Intellectual property right in Tanzania 2. Tanzania. Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
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