Legal notes to copyright registration in Dominica

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Copyright registration in Dominica. Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. In recent years, the Commonwealth of Dominica has become a major international financial hub and is quickly becoming one of the largest banking centers in the world. The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in Dominica.

Copyright in Dominica

Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created.

The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, copyright registration is still advised because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.

When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has registered copyright in advance will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.

Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in Dominica

Dominica is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1992.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

As Dominica is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Dominica will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from Dominica can be that the work is made and published for the first time in this country or if the author of the work is of Dominica ethnicity.

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in Dominica is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when copyright is obtained automatically.

When registering, the creation gets a date and a time stamp recorded, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.

Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.

If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a significant big amount of money and time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.

If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.

Documents for copyright registration in Dominica

To obtain copyright registration in Dominica, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:

·        Declaration of copyright registration in Dominica;

  • Two copies of copyrighted work;
  • Documents proving the right to apply;
  • Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
  • Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
  • Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
  • Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
  • Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).

The copyright law of Dominica

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright Act 2003 (Act 5 of 2003) as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Dominica. WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.

The Copyright Act 2003 of Dominica is divided into 10 parts:

·        Part 1 contains preliminary provisions.

·        Part 2 provisions relating to copyright.

·        Part 3 provides for moral rights.

·        Part 4 for ownership and assignment of copyright.

·        Part 5 for protection of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organisations.

·        Part 6 for infringement of copyright.

·        Part 7 with exceptions to infringement of copyright.

·        Part 8 regulates special jurisdiction of court relating to licensing.

·        Part 9 border protection measures.

·        Part 10 contains general provisions.

You can see a list of Dominica IP firms here.

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