DRM and the Balance of Copyright Law in Oman

Like all copyright laws around the world, the Omani copyright law is meant to draw a balance between the ability of the authors to make a living out of their craft on the one hand and the right of members of society have a fair and reasonable opportunity to access and use cultural works.

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Arab Treaty on Combating Cybercrime

The Arab Treaty on Combating Cybercrime [الاتفاقية العربية لمكافحة جرائم تقنية المعلومات] was ratified by Oman earlier this month. This treaty is an Arab League international agreement that was adopted in December 2010 and entered into force in February 2014. It appears that the ratified members of this treaty at the moment are Jordan, UAE, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

The main objectives of the treaty are to create an obligation on its members to implement in their national legislation provisions that criminalise a set of online offenses as well as put procedural rules in place to facilitate the prosecution of cybercrimes and the collection of digital evidence. The treaty also has a section for facilitating the cooperation between its members in dealing with transnational cybercrimes. Continue reading Arab Treaty on Combating Cybercrime

Djibouti: Copyright Country Profile

Current Copyright Law:

  • Law No. 154/AN/06 of July 23, 2006, on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights [Loi n°154/AN/06 du 23 juillet 2006 relative à la protection du droit d’auteur et du droit voisin]: French Text, English Text*

Previous Copyright Law:

  • Law No. 114/AN/96/3e L on the Protection of Copyright [Loi n°114/AN/96/3e L relatif à la protection du droit d’auteur]: French Text, English Text*
  •  Order of February 7, 1963, relating to Law 57-­298 of March 11, 1957, on Literary and Artistic Property [loi 57-298 du 11 mars 1957 sur la djibouti propriété littéraire et artistique]: Text Not Available.

*Translation by WIPO.

Photo credits: “Aube dorée” by Olivier ROUX – CC BY-NC 2.0

Three Exceptions I Wish Omani Copyright Law Had

Like the majority of countries around the world, Oman does not have a concept of “fair use” in its copyright law. The default position under copyright law is that any use of a copyrighted work requires the prior permission of the author, even if that use is private, non-commercial, or does not affect the interests of the author. To ensure that the rights of the author do not restrict the ability of society to enjoy culture and exercise certain fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression, copyright law permits the public to use copyrighted works in certain circumstances without the need to acquire the permission of the author.

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Tunisia: Copyright Country Profile

Current Copyright Law:

  • Law No. 33 of 2009 Concerning the Amendment of Law No. 36 of 1994 Concerning Literary and Artistic Property [قانون عدد ٣٣ لسنة ٢٠٠٩ مؤرخ في ٢٣ جوان ٢٠٠٩ يتعلق بتنقيح وإتمام القانون عدد ٣٦ لسنة ١٩٩٤ المؤرخ في ٢٤ فيفري ١٩٩٤ المتعلق بالملكية الفكرية والفنية]: Arabic Text.
  • Law No. 36 of 1994 Concerning Literary and Artistic Property [قانون عدد ٣٦ لسنة ١٩٩٤ مؤرخ في ٢٤ فيفري ١٩٩٤ يتعلق بالملكية الأدبية والفنية]: Arabic Text.

Previous Copyright Laws:

  • Law No. 3 of 1967 Concerning the Amendment of Law No. 12 of 1966 Concerning Literary and Artistic Property [قانون عدد ٣ لسنة ١٩٦٧ مؤرخ في ٤ جانفي ١٩٦٧ يتعلق بتنقيح القانون عدد ١٢ لسنة ١٩٦٦ المؤرخ في ١٤ فيفري ١٩٦٦ المتعلق بالملكية الأدبية والفنية]: Arabic Text.
  • Law No. 12 of 1966 Concerning Literary and Artistic Property [قانون عدد ١٢ لسنة ١٩٦٦ المؤرخ في ١٤ فيفري ١٩٦٦ يتعلق بالملكية الأدبية والفنية]: Arabic Text.

Note: Tunisia inherited from France the Tunisian Artistic and Literary Property Law of 1889 during its time as a French colony.

Morocco: Copyright Country Profile

Current Copyright Law:

  • Law No. 2-00 of 2000 Relating to Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Includes 2006 and 2014 Amendments) [قانون رقم ٢,٠٠ يتعلق بحقوق المؤلف والحقوق المجاورة]: Arabic Text.

Previous Copyright Laws:

  • Dahir Sharif No. 1.69.135 of 1970 Concerning the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works [ظهير شريف رقم ١.٦٩.١٣٥ بتاريخ ٢٥ جمادى الأول ١٣٩٠ (٢٩ يوليوز ١٩٧٠) بشأن حماية المؤلفات الأدبية والفنية]: Arabic Text.
  • Dahir Sharif Issued on 21 Chabaan 1334 (23 June 1916) Concerning the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works [الظهير الشريف الصادر في ٢١ شعبان ١٣٣٤ (٢٣ يونيه ١٩١٦) بشأن حماية المؤلفات الأدبية والفنية]: Not Available.

Photo credits: “Port” by Délirante bestiole – CC-BY 2.0

All Music is Legally Free in the Arab World

Online piracy remains a serious issue for many industries worldwide due to the difficulties of enforcement and the lack of reasonable online legal alternatives to piracy. Services such as Mawaly and Yala prove that the Arabic music industry is willing to do whatever it takes to survive: Let everyone download all the music they want free of charge.

Mawaly, a website affiliated with Rotana (the biggest record label in the Arab world) allows anyone to download music from all of Rotana’s signed artists, as well as artists from other labels, directly free of charge and with no strings attached. Yala is music a streaming service similar to Spotify that works on a freemium model, but unlike Spotify, it does not require users to register to listen to music on its website and also allows users to legally download complete mp3 files of the music free of charge.

The arguments against the damage that piracy causes to the music industry have been going on for years, but can the Arab music industry prove that it is possible for the industry to survive even when the all of the actual music is given away free of charge?

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