UAE Copyright and Neighborhood Law

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Scope of protection adopted by the UAE Copyright and Neighborhood Law

The protection of the copyrights or the intellectual rights is one of the major dilemmas that have been not yet completely solved worldwide. It is still witnessing a great variance in the level of protection of these rights between one country and another. The danger of such issue lies in the fact that it is a real obstacle to the creativity movement in any country. For example when the author exerts his utmost efforts in writing and reviewing his book and shortly after the publication he surprisingly discovers that the market has been flooded with hundred thousands of its copies, that will deprive the author from his moral and material rights and that also applies to the musical compositions, scientific inventions and other original innovations which the legislator has called “the works” where the legislator has limits its definition as states in Article No. 1 of the federal Law No. 7 of 2002 as follows;

The works: “Any created compilation, in the scope of letters, arts, sciences, whatsoever is its type, mode of expression, value or purpose”

This law has been issued in the UAE to protect the rights of the authors, artists, inventors, and for the protection of their creative production, where Article No. 2 of the said law has identified the works that enjoy the protection as follows; “ Authors of the works and the holders of the neighboring rights, shall enjoy the protection of this law in case that an aggression against their rights occurs in the State, namely in the following works:

1. Books, pamphlets, essays and other written works.
2. Computer programs and applications, databases and works specified by a Ministerial resolution.
3. Lectures, addresses, sermons and other works of similar nature.
4. Dramatic, dramatic-musical works and dumb shows.
5. Music compositions with or without words.
6. Sound and audiovisual works.
7. Architecture works, engineering plans and layouts.
8. Works of drawing, painting, sculpture and lithography (fabric, metal, stones, wood) and engrave or similar works in the scope of fine arts.
9. Photographic works and works similar to photography.
10. Works of applied and plastic art.
11. Illustrations, geographical maps, sketches, three-dimensional ( 3D) works relative to geography, topography and architecture designs etc.
12. Derived works without prejudice to the protection stipulated for the works been derived from. The protection includes the title of the work if innovated and the innovated theme written for a broadcasting programs.

Accordingly, the works protected under this law are the original creative works, and the creativity here means the production and fabrication of a creative and new work that contributes to the artistic and scientific movement in the state, for the author to be original, it requires that the products of the author to be originally owned to him and not to the public, and for more precise and clarification in the scope of protection of works, the law listed some procedures and methods of work and principles that are not considered protected works as states in Article 3 of the said Law:”

Protection does not extend to mere ideas, procedures, methods of work, mathematical understandings, principles, and abstract facts, but extend to creative expression in any of them.
Protection does not extend also to the following:
(1) The official documents, whatever is their original language or the language translated to them, such as the texts of laws, regulations, decisions, international agreements, judgments, arbitrators’ awards and the decisions of the administrative committees having judicial competence.
(2) The news, events and the current facts, which constitute merely media news.
(3) The works transferred to public property.

In Common, the aforementioned 3 Articles are not included in the self – innovation for any person. However it is owned to the public property such as the official documents, Judgments, accidents and current events.

However, the legislator considered that the items mentioned in the aforementioned Article could be protected if they were to be re-produced and arranged in a new and innovative manner, as states in Article3 of the said Law,

Nevertheless, the items in paragraph 1, 2 and 3 of this article if their compilation or arrangement or any effort thereof is characterized by creative manner shall enjoy protection

For the protection of the works and preserve the author`s rights, the ministry has established a system for depositing or registering the rights of the works as states in Article 4 “ The Ministry constitutes a system for depositing or registering the rights of the works or any actions that may arise at a specific authority therein, according to the stipulations of the implementing regulation of this law.

The registers of deposit or registration of rights in the Ministry are considered as reference to the details of the work”.

Non-deposit of the work or non-registration of its rights or any action allotted to it does not prejudice any of the protection aspects or the rights decided by this law.

Accordingly and as we presented the Articles of the said Law, it reveals that the legislator carefully defined the protected works in accordance with this law in order to preserve the moral and material rights of the author, thus contributing to the preservation of their literary, artistic and scientific heritage and motivating them to support the creative movement in the UAE with more innovations.

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