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Laws - Law on Copyright ( Unofficial translation )
Chapter 1. Fundamentals

Article 1.

The Copyright Law of the DPRK is intended to protect the rights of copyright owners and contribute to the development of literature and the arts and science and technology by establishing a strict system and order in the use of copyrighted works.

Article 2.

Protection of copyright is a consistent policy of the DPRK. The State shall ensure the authorship and protect the rights of the copyright owner.

Article 3.

A proper use of copyrighted works is an important condition for the development of art and literature and science and technology. The State shall establish proper procedures and methods for the use of copyrighted works and ensure their strict observation.

Article 4.

The State shall protect the rights of those who use the copyrighted works for performance, sound recording, video recording and broadcasting.

Article 5.

The copyright of a corporate body or an individual whose country is a party to a convention to which the DPRK is also a party shall be protected by the convention. But if a corporate body or an individual whose country is not a party to the same convention makes public works for the first time in the DPRK, the works shall be protected by this law.

Article 6.

The copyright of any work whose publication, issuance, performance, broadcasting, show and exhibition are prohibited shall not be protected.

Article 7.

The state shall promote interchange and cooperation with other countries and international organizations in the field of copyright.
Chapter 2. Object of Copyright

Article 8.

A proper definition of the object of copyright is the prerequisite to the protection of copyright. The institutions concerned shall determine the object of copyright on the principles of scientific accuracy, objectivity and realism.

Article 9.

The object of copyright shall be as follows:
  • Works such as scientific treatises, novels and poems,
  • Works of music,
  • Works of theatrical art such as opera, drama, acrobatics and dance,
  • Works of visual art such as film and television programme,
  • Works of fine arts such as painting, sculpture, industrial arts, calligraphy and design,
  • Works of photography,
  • Works of graphic art such as map, chart, blueprint, sketch and model,
  • Computer programs.

Article 10.

The works which are adapted from the original by rewriting, arrangement, dramatization, embellishment, adaptation and translation, shall be considered independent and become the object of copyright. Modernized versions of national classics shall also be the object of copyright.

Article 11.

The compiled works such as dictionary and anthology shall be the object of copyright. In this case, the selection and arrangement of the materials should be creative.

Article 12.

The documents of State management such as ordinance, decision or directive, current news and bulletins shall not be the object of copyright.
Chapter 3. Copyright Owner

Article 13.

The copyright owner shall be the author of works in the fields of literature and the arts and science and technology or the one who inherits the author’s rights. The copyright owner shall have moral and property rights to his/her works.

Article 14.

The moral rights of the copyright owner shall be as follows:
  • The tight to determine the publication of works.
  • The right to make public his/her name in the works and
  • The right to keep unchanged the title, content, form and so on of the works.

Article 15.

The property rights of the copyright owner shall be as follows.
  • The right to reproduce, perform and broadcast the works.
  • The right to exhibit or disseminate the original or the reproduction of the works.
  • The right to make new works by rewriting arrangement, dramatization, embellishment, adaptation and translation , and
  • The right to compile the works.

Article 16.

The copyright of a work created in the name of an individual shall be granted to the author. The copyright of a work created in the name of an institution, enterprise or organization shall be granted to the institution, enterprise or organization.

Article 17.

The copyright of a work authored by two or more individuals shall be owned jointly by them. The joint copyright shall be exercised in mutual agreement of the joint owners. In this case, it may be exercised by the elected representative.

Article 18.

The copyright of visual art works shall be granted to its producer. The copyright of the novel, script, music and fine art used in making visual art works may be exercised independently.

Article 19.

In his/her exercise of copyright, the adapter or editor of a work shall not infringe upon the rights of the copyright owner of the original work.

Article 20.

The moral rights of the copyright owner belongs exclusively to the author. The moral rights may not be transferred or inherited and shall be protected for an unlimited term.

Article 21.

The whole or part of the property right of the copyright owner may be transferred or inherited. In case the property rights are to be transferred to a foreign corporate body or individual, authorization of the institution concerned shall be needed.

Article 22.

In case an institution, enterprise or organization holding the property tights to copyrighted works is dissolved, the inheriting institution, enterprise or organization shall take over the property rights.

Article 23.

The property rights to a copyrighted work shall be protected from the moment of its publication to the 50th year after the death of its author. The property rights to a joint copyrighted work shall be protected from the moment of its publication to the 50th year after the death of the last survivor of the co-authors.

Article 24.

The property rights to a copyrighted work or a copyrighted visual art work whose author is an institution, enterprise or organization shall be protected for up to 50 years from the moment of its publication.

Article 25.

The term of copyright protection shall be calculated from the 1st of January of the year following the publication of the work or the death of it’s author.
Chapter 4. Use of Copyrighted Works

Article 26.

The use of copyrighted works is an important undertaking of disseminating them by reproduction, performance, broadcasting, exhibition, distribution, adaptation and compiling. An institution, enterprise, organization and individual shall use a copyrighted work as required by the established procedures and methods.

Article 27.

The copyright owner shall use his/her work. With the permission of the copyright owner, an institution, enterprise, organization and citizen may also use the work protected by copyright. In case the copyright owner is not to be found, a copyrighted work may be used with the authorization of the institution concerned.

Article 28.

The copyrighted work created by a citizen affiliated with an institution, enterprise or organization as part of his duty, may be used on a preferential basis by the institution, enterprise or organization.

Article 29.

An institution, enterprise, organization and citizen shall use the copyrighted work within the permitted or authorized limit.

Article 30.

An institution, enterprise, organization and citizen that has been allowed or authorized to use a copyrighted work may transfer the license to a third party. This shall be done only in agreement with the copyright owner or the institution concerned that has allowed or authorized the use of the copyrighted work.

Article 31.

An institution, enterprise, organization or citizen using a copyrighted work shall pay appropriate royalty fees to the copyright owner. The royalty fees shall be determined by the price fixing institution.

Article 32.

A copyrighted work may be used without the permission of the copyright owner, in the following cases:
  • When a copyrighted work is reproduced or translated for use by an individual or within the family,
  • When a copyrighted work is reproduced for depositing, displaying, reading or lending in such places as library, archive, museum or memorial hall,
  • When a copyrighted work is copied, broadcast or adapted for school education,
  • When a copyrighted work needed for State management is copied, broadcast or used in compilation,
  • When a copyrighted work is broadcast or carried in newspapers or periodicals for the purpose of its introduction,
  • When a copyrighted work is quoted,
  • When a copyrighted work is performed free of charge,
  • When a copyrighted work in public places is copied, and
  • When a copyrighted work is sound-recorded or reproduced in Braille for blind people.
Chapter 5. Related Right Owner

Article 33.

A related right owner is the one who has performed, sound-recorded, video-recorded or broadcast using a copyrighted work or the one to whom this right is transferred. The one who performs, sound-records, video-records or rights to the relevant copyrighted work.

Article 34.

The one who performs using a copyrighted work may associate his/her name with, record or broadcast his/her performance. In case of need, the recorded works may be disseminated.

Article 35.

The one who has produced sound- or video-recordings using a copyrighted work may reproduce them. In case of need, the sound- or video-recordings or their reproductions may be disseminated.

Article 36.

The one who has broadcast using a copyrighted work may reproduce the broadcastings by sound-recording, video-recording or photographing. As the case may be, it may be relayed or rebroadcast.

Article 37.

An institution, enterprise, organization or citizen that wishes to use a performance, sound-or video-recording or broadcasting shall secure permission from the related right owner. In this case, they shall pay reasonable royalty fees.

Article 38.

The term of protection of related right shall be up to 50 years form the moment of performance, sound- or video-recording or broadcasting. The term of protection shall be counted as from the 1st of January of the year following the performance, sound- or video-recording or broadcasting.

Article 39.

The related right may be transferred or inherited.

Article 40.

A performance, sound- or video-recording or broadcasting may be used without permission of the related right owner in the cases as specified in Article 32.
Chapter 6. Guidance and Control of CopyrightProtection

Article 41.

Intensifying guidance and control is the principal guarantee for the correct implementation of the State policy on copyright protection. The State shall intensify guidance and control of copyright protection.

Article 42.

Guidance of copyright protection shall be undertaken by the leading institutions of publication, culture and science and technology under the unified guidance of the Cabinet. The leading institutions of publication, culture and science and technology shall establish a proper system and protect the rights of copyright or related right owners.

Article 43.

The leading institutions of publication, culture and science and technology may set up their representative agencies needed for copyright protection. This case shall be subject to approval from the Cabinet.

Article 44.

An institution, enterprise, organization or citizen shall not imitate or pirate the works of others that have been submitted for publication.

Article 45.

The supervision and control of copyright protection shall be undertaken by the leading institutions of publication, culture and science and technology, and the supervisory institutions concerned. The leading institutions of publication, culture and science and technology, and the supervisory institutions concerned shall exercise strict control to prevent any infringement upon the copyright and the related rights.

Article 46.

In case of any infringement upon the copyright or the related rights, the resulting losses shall be compensated.

Article 47.

An official of an institution, enterprise or organization, or an individual citizen who is responsible for serious consequences related with copyright by his/her violation of this law shall be liable to administrative or criminal penalty.

Article 48.

A dispute arising in relation to copyright shall be settled by negotiation. In case it cannot be settled by negotiation, the dispute may be brought to arbitration or to a court for settlement.

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