Copyright in Qatar

The process of copyright registration in Qatar is governed by Law No. 7 of 2002 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights. Protection shall cover particularly the following works:
(1) books, pamphlets and other writings;
(2) works delivered orally such as lectures, addresses, sermons or similar works such as poems and hymns;
(3) dramatic musical works;
(4) musical works, whether or not they include accompanying words;
(5) choreographic works and pantomimes;
(6) audio-visual works;
(7) photographic and similar works;
(8) works of applied art, whether handicraft or produced on an industrial scale;
(9) works of drawing and painting with lines and colours, architecture, sculpture, decorated arts, engravings, sketches, designs and three-dimensional geographic or topographic works; and
(10) computer programs. Protection shall also extend to the title of the work if it is original.

The protection provided by this Law shall not cover the following works:

(1) laws, legal provisions, administrative decisions, international treaties, official documents or any official translation thereof. However, collections of such material are protected if they involve creative work in the selection and arrangement of their subject matter.

(2) daily news and other news of mere informatory nature.

(3) ideas, procedures, operational methods, mathematical concepts, principles and mere data. However, any derivative expression thereof shall be covered by protection.

Filing Requirements

For a copyright registration, it is important to submit documents which are:

  • Power of attorney;
  • Name of author(s);
  • Subject of the work;
  • Soft copy of the work;
  • Detailed specification of the work; and
  • Declaration of the ownership of the work
Term of Protection

The economic rights shall be protected during the life of the Author and for fifty calendar years after his death. Protection for original, artistic or literary work shall be for the following durations:

  • in the case of the work of joint authorship, the rights shall be protected for fifty calendar years from the date of the death of the last surviving co-author.
  • in the case of audio-visual or collective work, the rights shall be protected for fifty years as from the date on which the work was first published. For works that are not published, the term of protection shall run from the first day of the calendar year after the completion date of the work.
  • in the case of a work published under a pseudonym or published anonymously, the rights shall be protected for fifty calendar years from the first day of the calendar year following the date on which the work was first published. Nevertheless, where the pseudonym used by the author leaves no doubt as to the author’s identity, the term of protection shall be calculated as from the first calendar year following the author’s death. This provision applies where the author reveals his identity before the expiration of the protection period.

The sanctions for piracy or infringement activities were also set out in a proper way with statutory penalties of fines of up to QAR 100,000, i.e., USD $27,500 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.