Legal notes to copyright registration in Mozambique

Legal notes to copyright registration in Mozambique

Copyright registration in Mozambique. Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique, is a country located in Southeastern Africa. Although Mozambique was one of the poorest countries in the world, this country has seen a sharp increase in the past few decades. More than 1,200 mostly small state-owned enterprises have been privatized. Preparations for privatization and/or sector liberalization were made for the remaining parastatal enterprises, including telecommunications, energy, ports, and railways. The government frequently selected a strategic foreign investor when privatizing a parastatal. Additionally, customs duties have been reduced, and customs management has been streamlined and reformed. 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 Mozambique.

Copyright in Mozambique

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The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.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 in Mozambique 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 made a copyright registration in Mozambique 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 in Mozambique immediately to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in Mozambique

Mozambique is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 2013.

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 Mozambique is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Mozambique will be given copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries.

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

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when the works are automatically protected according to copyright law.

When registering, the work will get an application submission date, 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 big amount of money as well as time needed to resolve issues related to copyright, proving 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 Mozambique

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

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Mozambique;
  • 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 Mozambique

On 29 June 2022, the Assembly of the Republic approved the new Copyright Law of Mozambique, Law 9/2022. The new law came into force on 26 September 2022.

The new Copyright Act aims to advance and uphold the protection of creative, artistic, and academic works. Under the new Act, the range of works that are eligible for protection has been increased. According to the Act, copyright is the property of the person who came up with the idea for the work and is acknowledged regardless of registration, filing, or any other formality.

Notably, individuals with disabilities (whose activity is not intended to generate a profit) are permitted to duplicate, distribute, make available, import, and export legally published literary works in accessible formats without needing permission or payment.

Copyright protection lasts 70 years for literary works and 50 years for computer programs, phonograms, and videograms, respectively. Infringement is punishable by getting an interim interdict, confiscation, destruction, and legal repercussions.

You can see a list of Mozambique IP firms here.

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