News & insights

Bahrain: Amendment of Copyright Law

March 27, 2014

The Bahraini authorities have issued Law no. 5 of 2014 amending some provisions of existing Copyrights Law no. 22 of 2006. The main features of the amended Law include the prohibition of all activities related to manufacturing, importing, exporting, buying, selling or distributing copyrighted items without the prior consent of the owners. According to the Law, non-commercial establishments, such as educational institutes, libraries and public media shall not be held responsible for breaching the provisions of this Law provided that the violation was proved to have been committed unintentionally. Also, deciphering satellite and radio signals shall only be allowed through written documentation from the copyright holder or their representatives. 

This Law completes Law no. 22 of 2006 providing thus protection for copyrights including books, pamphlets and other writings, lectures, sermons, theatrical works, musical works, musical compositions, cinematographic works, works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, photographic works, works of applied art, illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works as well as computer programs. The Law also provides protection for neighboring rights including works of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations.

Based on the provisions of this Law, authors, performers, and producers of phonograms have the right to authorize or prohibit all reproductions of their works, performances, and phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary. 
Violators of the present Law shall be subject to a fine of up to BD 2,000 (approximately USD 5300) or to imprisonment of six months, or both. Below is a summary on the copyrights protection framework in the country.

Copyright Protection Framework in Bahrain

Member of Berne Convention
Yes
 
Registration
Possible for nationals as well as foreigners.
 
Filing Requirements
1. Power of attorney, legalized.
2. 1 copy of the work of art.
 
Registration Time Frame
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process is 4 to 6 weeks.
 
Duration
Duration in general is the author’s life plus 70 years following the author’s date of death.