Legal notes to copyright registration in Egypt

Copyright registration in Egypt. Egypt is an intercontinental country with most of its territory in North Africa, along with the Sinai Peninsula in Western Asia. Egypt is a market seen by national companies as a key player in the Middle East and North Africa region. Egypt’s economy depends mainly on agriculture, intermediaries, oil exports, and tourism. Egypt is considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Muslim world, and a middle power worldwide. It is a developing country, ranking 116th on the Human Development Index. It has a diversified economy, which is the second-largest in Africa, the 33rd-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the 20th-largest globally by PPP. 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 Egypt.

Copyright in Egypt

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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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

Egypt is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1977.

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 Egypt is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Egypt will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from Egypt 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 Egypt ethnicity.

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in Egypt 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 Egypt

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

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Egypt;
  • 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 Egypt

Egyptian copyright law has evolved over time. The currently applicable legislation in Egypt with regard to copyright is Book Three of the Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights 82 of 2002, which entered into force on 3 June 2002, the day following its publication in the Official Gazette.

The implementing decree is Prime Ministerial Decree 497 of 2005 (effective by Issue No. 12, Official Gazette, 29 March 2005).

The Phonograms Convention entered into force in Egypt on 23 April 1978. Egypt became a member of the World Trade Organization on 30 June 1995.

You can find a list of Egypt IP firms here.

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