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Copyright and Permissions: Lebanese Law

Welcome! This guide provides information and resources on copyright law in Lebanon and internationally. The guide emphasizes on how copyright law relates to academic activities such as research, teaching, and publishing.

Lebanese Copyright Law was enacted on April 3, 1999, and entered into force on June 6, 1999.

Amendments to copyright law was drafted in 2007 and intended to amend some provisions of law number 75 of April 3, 1999.  

Works Eligible for Protection under the Lebanese Law:

In addition to the works of Lebanese authors residing anywhere, the copyright law protects:

  • Works of non-Lebanese authors who are nationals of or residents in a member state of the
o Arab League (Even if it is not a member of the above conventions provided reciprocal treatment is applied)
  • Works of producers of audio-visual works who have their headquarters or habitual residence in Lebanon or in any member state of the Berne Convention or the Universal Copyright Convention. Literary and artistic works are protected in Lebanon, regardless of the existence of protection in their country of origin, if they are first published in :
o Lebanon
o A member state of any of the above mentioned conventions
o Outside Lebanon or/and outside the member state of any of the above-mentioned conventions  provided that they are also published in Lebanon or  in a member state of the above-mentioned conventions within 30 days of publication in the other country.

Duration of Copyright begins with the creation and fixation of the work, and lasts for 50 years after the creator’s death


Life of the author + 50 year to be computed from the end of the year in which the death has occurred.

Joint work Life of the joint authors + 50 years after the death of the last joint author to be computed from the end of the year in which the death has occurred.
Should one of the authors die without leaving heirs, his share shall pass to the co-authors or to their heirs, unless stated otherwise.
Audiovisual works 50 years from the making of such work, to be computed from the end of the year in which the work has been completed.
Collective works 50 years starting from the end of the year in which the work has been made available to the public.
Anonymous or
pseudonymous work 
50 years after the work has been legally made available to the public.
Performers 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the performance has been carried out.
Producers of sound recordings
50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the first fixation of sound on tangible material has taken place.
Broadcasting  organizations 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the broadcasting of their programs has taken place.
Publishing  houses 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the first publication has taken place.


Exceptions and Limitations

Lebanese copyright law set out some exceptions for the use in specific cases, of copyright and related rights without the author’s consent and without paying him any fee. This use is based on strict conditions that must be respected otherwise such use will be considered an infringement of copyright. 

Lebanese Copyright Act: Chapter VI enumerates an exhaustive list of the exceptions.

In total 10 different kind of use are permitted without asking the permission of the copyright owner (Articles 23 to 34); Articles 25 and 27 benefit the public libraries

    Exceptions for non-profit educational institutions

      Non-profit-making educational institutions, universities and/or public libraries may, without the authorization of the author and without obligation to pay him compensation:

  • Reproduce a limited number of computer programs for the purpose of lending them free of charge to students and university people.
    Conditions for this exception are:
    • The Institutions must possess at least one original copy of the work
    • Students may make one copy for their personal use.
    • Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education and the Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education subsequently issue decrees determining the copying mechanism, the categories of computer programs that may be copied and the number of copies allowed.
  • Use a limited part of any legally published work for purposes of criticism, argumentation or citation or for an educational purpose, provided that the part used does not exceed what is necessary and customary.
  • Copy or reproduce articles published in newspapers and magazines or short excerpts of a work, provided that it is done only for educational purposes and within the necessary limits of such purpose.
  • Make an additional copy of a work to be used in case of loss or damage of the original work, provided that they possess at least one copy of the original work.

      N.B. “Fair Use” concept is not embedded in the law but the Lebanese copyright law exceptions allow the practice of “Fair Use”

Exceptions for Personal Use

      Any natural person may, without the authorization of the author and without obligation to pay him compensation:

  • Copy, record or make a single copy of any work protected under the Lebanese copyright law for personal or private use. Provided that the work has been legally published. This exception shall not apply if:
    • Limited number of original copies are published
    • Reproduce the whole or a significant part of a book
    • Record or transmit compilations of data of all kinds
    • Record or copy computer programs unless the record or copy is made by the person authorized by the copyright holder to use the program and for the purpose of making a single copy for use in the case of loss or damage of the original copy.

Major changes and treaties related to copyright in Lebanon

September 11, 1872 Ottoman Law on Privileged Works: first law to protect literary and intellectual property rights in Lebanon
January 17, 1924 Under the French mandate, Resolution No. 2385 which protect various forms of  intellectual property including literary and artistic property was issued
June 28, 1934 Resolution No. 141/L.R. aimed at implementing the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in all states in the Middle East under French Mandate, including Lebanon.
March 1, 1943 First Lebanese Criminal Code was promulgated. It set out in Articles 722 to 729 the penal sanctions for the infringement of literary and artistic property rights and the crime of piracy
September 30, 1947 Lebanon joined the Berne Convention and ratified its modifications introduced in Paris in 1971.
July 17, 1959 Lebanon joined the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) in order to protect the intellectual property rights of Lebanese authors in countries which were not at that time parties to the Berne Convention.
June 26, 1962 Lebanon signed the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations. It become effective in May 12, 1977, when it was ratified by the Lebanese Parliament
June 6, 1999 Law No. 75/99 on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property issued
July 1, 2002 Resolution No. 2002/16 on the rights of copying and copying of computer programs by nonprofit educational institutions and academic and public libraries
May 25, 2006 Circular No. A/1/4: on protection of computer programs and fight against piracy;  Circular No. A/1/5: on the protection of audiovisual and musical works; Circular No. A/1/6: on the protection of literary, artistic and scientific works
November 15, 2007 Decree No. 918 on the creation and organization of work of associations and companies of collective management of copyright and related rights and how to exercise control of the Ministry of Culture and checking violations


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Country Profiles - Lebanon


Contracting Party Treaty Signature Instrument In Force Details
Lebanon Berne Convention   Accession: February 19, 1946 September 30, 1947 Details
Lebanon Brussels Convention May 21, 1974      
Lebanon Madrid Agreement (Indications of Source)   Accession: June 1, 1924 September 1, 1924 Details
Lebanon Marrakesh VIP Treaty June 28, 2013      
Lebanon Nice Agreement June 15, 1957 Ratification: May 30, 1960 April 8, 1961  
Lebanon Paris Convention   Accession: June 18, 1924 September 1, 1924 Details
Lebanon Patent Law Treaty June 2, 2000      
Lebanon Rome Convention June 26, 1962 Ratification: May 12, 1997 August 12, 1997  
Lebanon Singapore Treaty December 5, 2006      
Lebanon WIPO Convention   Accession: September 30, 1986 December 30, 1986