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All You Need To Know Apout Copyrights in the UAE

Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.

How Copyrighting Works

When someone creates a product that is viewed as original and that required significant mental activity to create, this product becomes an intellectual property that must be protected from unauthorized duplication. Examples of unique creations include computer software, art, poetry, graphic designs, musical lyrics and compositions, novels, film, original architectural designs, website content, etc. One safeguard that can be used to legally protect an original creation is copyright.


Under copyright law, a work is considered original if the author created it from independent thinking void of duplication. This type of work is known as an Original Work of Authorship (OWA). Anyone with an original work of authorship automatically has the copyright to that work, preventing anyone else from using or replicating it. The copyright can be registered voluntarily by the original owner if they would like to get an upper hand in the legal system in the event that the need arises.


Not all types of work can be copyrighted. A copyright does not protect ideas, discoveries, concepts, or theories. Brand nameslogos, slogans, domain names, and titles also cannot be protected under copyright law. For an original work to be copyrighted, it has to be in tangible form. This means that any speech, discoveries, musical scores, or ideas have to be written down in physical form in order to be protected by copyright.

Ministry of Economy is the competent authority to register intellectual works in the UAE. To register intellectual works, you can submit an online application.

Duration of protection

According to Article 20 of Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 on Copyrights and related rights, the economic rights of the author under this Law shall be protected for the duration of his life plus 50 years starting from the first day of the calendar year following his death. Economic rights of applied art works expires after 25 years, which start from the first day of the calendar year following their first publication.

Alya Auditors is a leading Chartered Accounting company in Dubai, UAE we are also providing business consultancy services in the UAE. We help companies, organisations and individuals register their work for copyrights, besides providing help in all areas of setting up an establishment in the GCC countries, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

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