Legal notes to copyright registration in Iraq

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Copyright registration in Iraq. Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. Iraq’s economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. With its 143.1 billion barrels (2.275×1010 m3) of oil reserves, Iraq ranks third in the world behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in the number of oil reserves. 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 Iraq.

Copyright in Iraq

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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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, the creator should still apply for copyright registration early 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 Iraq

Iraq is currently not a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright. This country is somewhat in the state of an observer at the moment, waiting to see the effects and benefits of joining the Berne Convention, as well as the downside of participation.

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.

Documents for copyright registration in Iraq

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

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Iraq;
  • 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 Iraq

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Law No. 3 of 1971 on Copyright as the main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Iraq. WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database. This law was amended on 1st May, 2004 by Order No. 83, Amendment to the Copyright Law.

The copyright law of Iraq protects many types of work that existed in some physical methods. However, some of the works that are not protected in Iraq are:

  • Anthologies of poetry, prose, music and other collections, without prejudice to the rights of the author of each work.
  • Collections of works have fallen into the public domain.
  • Collections of official documents such as texts of laws, regulations, international agreements, judicial rulings, and other official documents.

You can see a list of Iraq IP firms here.


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