Egyptian copyright law

I have online the first 800 years of the History of the Coptic Patriarchs of Alexandria.  But more exists in various publications, and I keep getting emails from Copts about it.  However one version that I know of is of uncertain status, not least because I cannot find out what Egyptian copyright law actually is! 

Now I was able to find this poster issued by the software alliance in Cairo:

“The copyright law in Egypt No 354 of 1954, amended in 1968 and 1975, was amended for the third time by the law No 38 in 1992 to cover explicitly the protection of computer programs.  In 1994 it was amended for the fourth time to make the protection period applicable to computer software fifty years from the author’s date of decease, or from the publishing date if the author was a legal person.”

This is supported by this site which states:

“The Copyright Law No. 354 for 1954, which was modified by the Law No. 29 for 1994, allows for copyrightable work in general and computer software in particular. Egypt is also a party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, ( PARIS Acts) and the TRIPS. Original works of literature, art and science, regardless of type, importance or purpose are protected. This includes works of art expressed in writing, sound, drawings, photography and motion pictures, such as books, writings, speeches, oral works, plays, dramatic works, musical compositions, films, phonographic works, applied art, 3-D works and computer programmes are protected for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years following his/her death.  In order for protection to be effective, the work of art is to be original and includes personal efforts, innovation and new arrangement.”

So for texts it seems to be life+50 years, as in Canada.

Update (29/08/07): This link confirms this, and includes the text of the 2002 law which indicates that where there are several authors, the last survivor’s date of death applies.  It still doesn’t make clear whether this applies retroactively, but I think that I will presume that it does. clarifies that the older laws were cancelled and replaced by the 2002 one. My thanks to Dr Amir H. Khoury of Tel Aviv
University for clarifying some issues pertainig to Egyptian Copyright law.


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