Protection of Copyright in Nepal

Basics of existing Copyright Act, 2002

Subject Matter

  • Copyrightable (Section 3) The original work shall not merely be an idea. The work has to come to life and be concrete to be protected, in the form of copy or records and should be perceivable, whether in a tangible form like books, paintings, codes, and blueprints or could be a certain way of performing art like music composition, choreography, advertisement or films. 
  • Non-copyrightable – (Section 4) facts, news, government and court decisions, religious beliefs, folk tales, and proverbs are not copyrightable. Whatever the facts may be or how much time, money, and research have been invested to discover, facts cannot be copyright protected.

Bundle of Rights 

Like in any property law, copyright protection also protects the economic and moral rights of the creator. 

Economic Rights  (Section 7)  Right to reproduce the work, adaptation and translation, performance in the public, display or communicate to the public or broadcast, transform, revise or amend, transfer or rent.

Moral Rights (Section 8 ) It protects and promotes the Right of Attributions and Right of Integrity of any copyright owner. 

Principle of Fair use – An exception to the Copyright  

(Chapter 4) at times, acts normally restricted by copyright principles and laws may, as specified in the copyright laws, could be done without the permission of the copyright owner, however, citations and quotations or recognition of the copyright owner have to be done. Substantially, the portion of work used, the intention, and nature, also, the consequence after the use is to be examined to determine whether or not it is fair use. 

Party of the International Treaties to protect copyright

Nepal is a member of the following International Treaties to protect copyright

  1. a) The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886
  2. b) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  3. c) Member state of WTO’s intellectual property (TRIPS) agreement

Is Copyright Registration mandatory? 

(Section 5) Copyright protection is something that comes automatically with the creation thus, to register it or not is totally in the hands of the creator and is not compulsory, however, registering and backing the creations legally is always highly encouraged as it always gives an upper hand whenever needed in case of any future infringement. 

Procedure for the Registration 

  1. Required Documents 

– 4 copies of the creators’ work to be registered. 

– Evidence that the applicant’s work is an original creation.

  1. The copy of the creation and the evidence are submitted to the registrar along with an application.
  2. The registrar further investigates and looks upon the application and the submitted documents, also, the degree of originality.

If the submitted documents are not satisfactory, the registrar may further ask to submit additional documents. 

  1. If all the criteria are satisfied, the work is registered generally within a week to a month. 

The time of the protection 

(Chapter 3) The protection generally lasts for as long as the copyright owner is alive and for the additional 50 years after their death. 

Infringement and Sanctions 

(Section 25) Reproducing the copies of the work and selling or renting it out, using the work for publicity or advertisement with the motive of taking advantage of the reputation gained by the work, tricking the viewers, listeners, and readers, and taking any sort of economic benefit from the original creation. 

According to sections 27,28 and 29  Not complying with the act and infringing the protected rights might result in a fine of Rs.10,000 to Rs.1,00,000 and imprisonment of a term not exceeding six months or both. Also, fine of Rs.20, 000 to Rs.2, 00,000, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with both for each instance from the second time. And the court might ask for compensation for the loss caused to the creator. Punishment for the importation of unauthorized copy could be a fine of a sum from 10,000 to 1, 00,000 according to the gravity of the offense, and such copies shall be seized; and compensation for the loss caused to the copyright owner from such importation.


DISCLAIMER The information provided above is designed for helpful information on the subject discussed. It is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as legal advice.

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