Wikipedia:Copyright situations by country

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The following list gives the current copyright situation in various countries, briefly describing which works are considered in the public domain in each country. This is useful for determining whether a work can be freely used in Wikipedia or not. Please see Wikipedia:Public domain for more information on the "public domain".

Keep in mind that any work first published before 1927 is considered in the public domain in the United States, regardless of the work's copyright status in its country of origin. Also, note that countries may change their copyright laws at any time, and these laws may or may not be retroactive to works previously in the public domain. Some countries may follow the rule of the shorter term for foreign works (notably the EU and Japan); others may not (e.g. the U.S.). And in general, a work may be in the public domain in one country but still be copyrighted in other countries.

Note that special rules apply to sound recordings in most countries, which are not described here.

Abbreviations used[edit]

  • PD stands for public domain.
  • FoP stands for freedom of panorama.
  • No treaty indicates that the U.S. does not have a copyright treaty with this country, so works created by residents of this country are not protected by copyright in the U.S.
  • Life+X means that the work is in the public domain if the author died more than X years before the end of the current year.
  • Treaty:Life+X means that according to a treaty the country has signed, it has agreed to extend its copyright protection to Life+X, but it has not yet done so.
  • Creation+X means that copyright expires X years after the work was created.
  • Published+X means that copyright expires X years after the work was first published.

For some special cases, we also use the following abbreviations:

  • Post(X):Published+Y means that works first published posthumously within X years after the death of the (last surviving) author are protected for Y years since the publication.
  • Rehab+X means that works of authors who have been posthumously rehabilitated are copyrighted for X years since the rehabilitation (not the death of the author). This is the case in some successor countries of the former USSR, notably Russia.
  • Unpublished+X means that if a previously unpublished work is published for the first time after its original copyright had expired, the publisher is granted the exclusive publication right for a period of X years since that eventual first publication. This is the case in the EU, but also in some successor countries of the USSR.

See also Commons:Licensing, Wikipedia:File copyright tags/Public domain.


See also: List of countries' copyright lengths



  1. ^ This is stated at Commons:Commons:Licensing, but the reference given there is a dead link.
  2. ^ Commons:Template:PD-AR-Photo, which references Argentina Law 11.723, Article 34 and Berne Convention Article 7 (4)
  3. ^ Argentina Law 11.723, ibid.
  4. ^ Commons:Template:PD-AR-Movie, which references 11.723, ibid.
  5. ^ Commons:Template:PD-AR-Anonymous, which references 11.723, ibid.
  6. ^ Commons:Template:CC-AR-Presidency, which references 11.723, ibid.
  7. ^ The retroactive law of January 12 2000 supersedes the previous law of May 27 1996.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o For most successor states of the former USSR and the three Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, up-to-date English transcriptions of the current copyright laws are available at CIPR.
  9. ^ Commons:Commons:Licensing references [1].
  10. ^ Australian copyright law and Copyright expiration in Australia reference information sheet numbered G023.
  11. ^ Copyright expiration in Australia references information sheet numbered G011.
  12. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references Australian copyright act and A note on the copyright law in Australia that concerns photographers (PDF).
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Copyright law of the European Union and Directive harmonizing the term of copyright protection cite OJ no. L290 of 24 November 1993, pp. 9–13, and list the ratification for each country. This is retroactive.
  14. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama references Austrian copyright law, §54.
  15. ^ Azerbaijani law from June 5 1996
  16. ^ Belorussian law from May 16 1996; with amendments of August 11 1998 and January 4 2003. Commons:Commons:Licensing references [2].
  17. ^ a b c d Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama references Decision 351, Article 22, of the Andean Community of Nations.
  18. ^ Ley sobre Derecho de Autor; Ley 14, December 28 1977, last modified 1994.
  19. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama references Czech Copyright Act (Law No. 121/2000), Article 33 and Czech Copyright Act on Wikisource.
  20. ^ Estonian law from December 12 1992, amended numerous times, lastly November 18 2002.
  21. ^ Statement 2008:12 of the Copyright Council)
  22. ^ Panoramafreiheit references §59 UrhG (Germany). See also Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama.
  23. ^ Retroactive law from September 1999.
  24. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama references article 68 of the Hungarian copyright law (1999/LXXVI).
  25. ^ Iceland Copyright Act, Chapter IV, Article 43.
  26. ^ "Law Number 28 Year 2014 About Copyright" (PDF). World Intellectual Property Organization.
  27. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, Chapter 6, §93.
  28. ^ reference Israeli copyright law 2008
  29. ^ Kazakhstani law of June 10 1996.
  30. ^ This law of January 1998, last amended June 29 2001.
  31. ^ Law of March 6 2003; previous law was from 1993.
  32. ^ Lithuanian law of March 5 2003.
  33. ^ Moldovan law of November 23 1994, amended July 25 2002.
  34. ^ Copyright Act 2002; 2.7. Terms of Protection
  35. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references §73 of the Copyright Act of 1994 of New Zealand.
  36. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references Portuguese Copyright Law §68 and §75(2)q.
  37. ^ Russian law of July 1993, amended 2004.
  38. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references Slovak copyright law and an English translation.
  39. ^ Commons:Commons:Freedom of Panorama references The Swedish copyright act and a translation.
  40. ^ Panoramafreiheit references §27 URG (Switzerland), and Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama references Merkblatt zur Schweizer Rechtslage (PDF).
  41. ^ Ukrainian law of August 2001
  42. ^ Panoramafreiheit and Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama reference Advertising and marketing art: Copyright confusion, section 62 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and Public Art online on Section 62.
  43. ^ Panoramafreiheit references 17 USC 120(a), Copyright law, 2nd ed., and The Law for Photographers: Do I Need Permission?. See also Commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama.
  44. ^ Uzbekistani law from August 30 1996, amended December 15 2000.

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