Copy Right Protection under Ethiopian Law In Regard To Audiovisual Works

The enactment of copy right laws was initiated to support creativity and protection of such creativity of a person. Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation, no. 410/2004 provides a wide aspects of protections for copy right works in general.

This article focuses on copy right protection for the audio visual works. The requirements for protection of copy right, the owner of economic right, and also the period of protection will be dealt briefly under this article.

Requirements for Protection

According to Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation, no. 410/2004, where the work of the audio visual is original and fixed, the owner of the audio visual work is entitled to protection regardless of the quality and purpose of the work.

In order to obtain a copyright protection, the work has to be original and fixed. However,there are debates as to the scope of fixation. Some argue that fixation can’t guarantee the protection of a work unless it’s communicated with the public. While others argue that as long as the work is expressed in some material form and where it is stored in a way that it can be perceived and communicated, the work should be subject to copyright protection.


Owner of the Economic Right

According to Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation, the producer of the audiovisual work shall be the owner of the economic right. Yet, other participants in the audiovisual works like script writer, director, cameraman, lyricist, composer and other authors thereof enjoy the right of authorship.  Therefore, the work of authors introduced for the purpose of making the audio visual work obtain protection separately from the audio visual work.

Duration of Economic Right

Copyright is protected for the life time as long as the author lives plus 50 years after his/her death. The rights of performers and producers of sound recording extend to 50 years and the rights of broadcasting organizations extend to 20 years. 

If you have an additional question or comment or need to get a practical legal support in this regard please  Contact us.

“Copyright © 2003-2015 Fikadu Asfaw and Associate Law Office

Related notes

Note: This guide provides vital information on Ethiopian Intellectual Property law and practice especially Trademark Protection in Ethiopia. Any pertinent information about Copyright in Ethiopia, Trademark in Ethiopia, Patent in Ethiopia, can be available from any Ethiopian IP Lawyer, Ethiopian Trademark Lawyer, Ethiopian lawyer or Ethiopian Attorney.

Scroll to Top