Libya is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. In order to gain protection, the material to be copyrighted must be deposited with the Copyright Protection Office at the Ministry of Culture and Information, within one month of its publication in Libya or of the entry of the material provided that the filing is prior to distribution (with a minimum number of 20 editions for distribution).
Protection is granted to original works of literature, art and science regardless of type, importance or purpose. This includes works of art expressed in writing, sounds, drawings, photography and motion pictures; such as, books, writings, speeches, oral works, plays, dramatic works, musical compositions, films and phonographic works. Protection is granted for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years following his/her death. In order for protection to be effective, the work of art has to be original and includes personal efforts, invention and new arrangement.
If the copyright holder (or his/her heirs) fails to publish a certain work of art, the Ministry of Culture and Information reserves the right to allow publication of that work. Such publication is possible through obtaining an order from the Civil Court to transfer the right of publication to the Ministry of Culture and Information, while providing the copyright holder or the heirs with fair compensation. Infringements are prosecuted before the Civil Court in Libya.