Copyright protection in Lebanon is governed by Artistic and Literary Ownership Law No. 75 which was enacted on April 3, 1999 and entered into force on June 6, 1999.

Under normal circumstances, the registration of copyright is completed within a 2-week period, while the relevant registration certificate is issued within 2 weeks of the registration date.

The protection of this law shall apply to every production of the human spirit be it written, pictorial, sculptural, manuscript or oral, regardless of its value, importance or purpose and the mode or form of its expression.

The protection of this law shall apply, among other works, to:

• Books, archives, pamphlets, publications, printed material and other literary, scientific and artistic writings;

• Lectures, addresses and other oral works;

• Audiovisual works and photographs;

• Musical compositions with or without words;

• Dramatic or dramatico-musical works;

• Choreographic works and pantomimes;

• Drawings, sculpture, engraving, ornamentation, weaving and lithography;

• Illustrations and drawings related to architecture;

• Computer programs whatever their language and including preliminary works;

• Maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science;

• Any kind of plastic art work whether intended for industry or not.

The following derivative works shall be subject to the provisions of this law and shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the rights in the original work:

• Any kind of plastic art work whether intended for industry or not;

• Translations, adaptations, transformations and arrangements of music;

• Collections of literary or artistic works and compilations of data, whether in machine-readable or other form, provided that they are authorized by the copyright holder or his public or private successors and that by reason of the selection and arrangement of their contents they constitute intellectual creations.

The following shall be excluded from the protection provided by this law:

• Daily news;

• Laws, legislative decrees, decrees and decisions issued by all public authorities and official translations thereof;

• Judicial decisions of all kinds and official translations thereof;

• Speeches delivered in public assemblies and meetings. The authors of speeches and presentations shall enjoy the sole right of collecting and publishing such lectures and presentations;

• Ideas, data and abstract scientific facts;

• Artistic folkloric works of all kinds. However, works inspired by folklore shall enjoy protection.

A created work is considered protected by copyright as soon as it exists. According to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, literary and artistic works are protected without any formalities in the countries party to that convention. However, registration of copyright is recommended in Lebanon, as it can serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to copyright.

Protection is available to nationals and foreigners for the lifetime of the author and for a period of 50 years after his death. Should the work be published in the name of a company, the duration of the protection shall be 50 years from the date of publication of the work.

Infringements are prosecuted before the Civil Court in Lebanon and infringers will be penalized by a fine or imprisonment.

Lebanon is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Universal Copyright Convention.


Sanayeh, Anis Tabbara Street, Halabi Bldg. - 1st Floor

P.O. Box: 11-7381 Beirut, Lebanon
Telephone: (00961-1) 753222
Fax: (00961-1) 350548
Contact: Nemer S. Shibly (Mr)


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