Introduction to Copyright Law in Nepal
Copyright is a legal right granted to the creator of an original work, giving them exclusive control over its
distribution and use. In Nepal, the Copyright Act of 2059 B.S. defines a "Copyright Work" as any original
and intellectual work in literature, art, science, or any other field. The author of such a work is known as
the Copyright Owner and is entitled to various rights, including Economic Rights, Moral Rights, and
Royalty Rights. Nepal Copyright Registrar’s Office is established for enforcing Copyright Law in Nepal.
Legislation on Copyright in Nepal
1. Copyright Act, 2059: This act was promulgated by Gyanendra Bikram Shah and provides the
foundational framework for copyright-related laws in Nepal. It covers the acquisition and
protection of copyright, the term of copyright protection, circumstances of use, transfer of
copyright, and infringement.
2. Copyright Rule, 2061: This rule was framed in accordance with the Copyright Act of 2002 and
primarily facilitates the registration and protection of copyrights. It allows legal entities to
register their creative works by submitting an application with necessary documents, resulting in
the copyright being conferred to the applicant's name.
Things Covered by Copyright Law
The Copyright Law of Nepal protects any intellectual and creative work presented as original. According
to Section 2 of the Copyright Act of 2059, the following works are governed by Nepal's Copyright Law:
1. Books, articles, theses, etc.
2. Drama, music, and audiovisual works
3. Designs, arts, paintings, sculptures, woodcarving, etc.
4. Photographic works and applied art
5. Illustrations, maps, three-dimensional works, etc.
6. Computer programs
Things Not Covered by Copyright Law in Nepal
However, there are certain things not governed by Copyright Law in Nepal, as per Section 4 of the
Copyright Act, 2059. These include:
1. Thoughts, concepts, principles
2. Religion, news, folksongs, folktales, proverbs
3. Administrative decisions, court judgments, methods of operation
Should I Own Copyright in Nepal?
Rights of Copyright Owner
The Copyright Act of 2059 outlines several rights that can be conferred to the original copyright owner.
These rights are essential to protect the creative works of authors, performers, sound recorders, and
Economic and Moral Rights: The Copyright Act recognizes both Economic and Moral Rights of the
Copyright Owner. The Copyright Owner has the first access to reproduce, translate, and modify the
Original Copyright Work in any form. They also have the right to sell or distribute copies of the work to
the general public, perform, broadcast, and communicate the work in public.
Apart from Economic Rights, the Author also enjoys certain Moral Rights related to their work. These
rights include the ability to use pseudonyms in public, make revisions to their work, receive credit when
their work is used publicly, and the right to prevent acts that may harm the Author's reputation.
Other Rights: In addition to the above, the Copyright Owner has the right to take their performance to
the general public through broadcasting or communication. They can also rent and revise their work as
they wish. Similarly, Sound Producers have the right to reproduce, rent, lease, and edit their sound
recordings as needed. Broadcasting Organizations can re-broadcast, communicate the broadcast, and
make adjustments to their broadcasts as per their requirements.
Terms of Protection of Copyright in Nepal
Usage of Copyright Material in Nepal:
|Term of Protection
|Duration of Copyright Protection
|Throughout the author's life + 50 years after death
|50 years after the death of the last author
|Organizational Works or Works
representing the Organization
|50 years from the date of first publication or the date of making the work
public, whichever is earlier
|Anonymous or Pseudonymous
|50 years from the date of first publication or the date of making the work
public, whichever is earlier, if the name is not revealed. Else, Throughout the
Author’s Life and 50 Years after their death.
|Applied Art and Photographic
|25 years from the year of preparation of the work
|Work Published after the
|50 years from the year of publication
The Copyright Act of 2059 provides specific circumstances where the lawful usage of Copyrighted
Materials is allowed without requiring authorization from the Author or Copyright Owner. Here is a list
of scenarios where you can use Copyrighted Materials:
Reproduction for Personal Purposes
Individuals can reproduce Copyrighted Works for personal use without needing authorization, with
some exceptions such as architectural designs, significant portions of books, musical notations, and
anything else that would harm the Economic Rights of the Author.
The Copyrights Act, 2059 permits individuals to cite portions of published works without the Author's
authorization, as long as it doesn't harm the Economic Rights of the Author.
Reproduction for Teaching and Learning
A small portion of the original Copyrighted Work can be reproduced for educational purposes in
classrooms without requiring authorization. However, proper citation and credit must be given.
Reproduction by Libraries and Archives
Non-profit libraries or archives providing works for research and study purposes can reproduce one copy
of the original work without authorization, in cases where the original work cannot be obtained.
Computer programs can be reproduced without authorization for specific use cases only. Works can also
be displayed publicly without authorization, as long as certain elements that could infringe the Author's
rights are omitted.
Transfer of Copyright:
The original Copyright Owner can transfer their Economic and Moral Rights by making a written
agreement, provided their name remains attached to the Original Work. The secondary owner can only
exercise the rights granted in the agreement.
How to Get Copyright in Nepal
To obtain copyright protection in Nepal, follow these steps:
Step 1: Prepare the Application: Fill out the application form with basic information, including the Name
of the Author or Owner, Citizenship, and details of the work (Name, Language, Date, Country, etc.).
Step 2: Submit the Application and Evidence: Submit the completed application along with the required
evidence to the Copyright Registration Office in Narayanhiti, Kathmandu.
Step 3: Application Examination: The Registrar will review the application and may request additional
documents if necessary.
Step 4: Registration Decision: If the application is satisfactory, the Registrar will register the work in the
applicant's name within thirty-five days. A registration fee of Rs. 100 should be paid.
Step 5: Issuance of Registration Certificate: Upon successful registration, the Registrar will provide a
certificate of registration to the applicant.
Step 6: Rejection and Reasons: If the application is rejected, the Registrar will notify the applicant of the
reasons within seven days.
Step 7: Correcting Particulars: If corrections are needed in the registered particulars, the applicant can
submit an application explaining the reasons for correction.
Step 8: Particulars Correction: The Registrar will review the application for corrections and update the
registered book accordingly.
By following these steps, individuals can ensure proper copyright protection for their creative works in
Acts considered Copyright Infringement
According to Section 25 of the Copyright Act, the following actions shall be considered as infringement
of the protected rights of the Original Copyright Owner:
1. Reproducing, selling, distributing, or publicly communicating copies of a work or sound
recording without authorization from the author or copyright owner, or by violating the terms of
an agreement or license, even if such authorization was obtained.
2. Copying someone else's work for advertising or publicity purposes to take advantage of the
reputation gained by that work.
3. Creating a derivative work based on another person's work with the intention of deriving
4. Attempting to benefit by adapting any work in a way that misleads the audience into believing it
to be another work.
5. Importing, producing, or renting equipment or devices designed to circumvent any device
meant to discourage unauthorized reproduction.
6. Producing or importing equipment designed to facilitate unauthorized reception of broadcast
programs encrypted in a code language.
Punishment of Copyright Infringement in Nepal
Chapter 6 Section 25 of the Copyright Act, 2059 outlines various acts that constitute copyright
infringement and provides for penalties for those found guilty. Individuals found guilty of copyright
infringement may be subject to a fine ranging from 10,000 to 1 lakh rupees and imprisonment not
exceeding six months, or both. For repeat offenses, the punishment is doubled, and the infringer must
also compensate the copyright owner for the loss caused.
In the case of active involvement in the importation of unauthorized copies, as mentioned in Section 28
of the Copyright Act, the importer will be fined an amount between 10,000 to 1 lakh rupees based on
the gravity of the offense. The unauthorized copies will be seized, and the importer must compensate
the copyright owner for the loss caused.
Section 29 mentions that other forms of infringement not mentioned can result in a fine ranging from
5,000 to 50,000 rupees based on the severity of the offense.
How to Register Copyright Cases in Nepal?
Copyright cases in Nepal fall under the jurisdiction of the District Court. The procedure used in copyright
cases is the Summary Procedures Act, 2028, and the case doesn't last for more than 90 days. If a
Copyright Owner believes their copyrights have been infringed, they must file a case within three
months from the date of awareness of the infringement. If the individual is not satisfied with the order
or decision made, the Copyright Owner can also appeal in the Appellate court within 35 days of the final
To officially file a Copyright Case in Nepal, you must follow the following procedures:
1. Gather Evidence.
2. File an FIR to the relevant authority.
3. Conduct an investigation by the Police Inspector.
4. Ensure the seizure of infringing copies and their destruction.
5. Register the cases with the District Attorney Office.
6. Proceed with the trial in the District Court.
7. If needed, file an appeal within 35 days.
Copyright Laws are essential to ensure and protect the creative works of Individuals and encourage
innovation and creativity within the nation. The Copyright Law of Nepal has also attempted to provide
rightful Economic and Moral Rights to the Copyright Owner. For the Registration of Copyright, the
Author or Owner of the Work must proceed to the Nepal Copyright Registrar’s Office and follow the
appropriate Procedures listed above for the completion of the Process. The Individual can then enjoy
their Royalties as well through the Royalty Collection Body.
To consult or get legal advice from our Expert for Legal Services for Copyright Law in Nepal ;
contact us at: 977-01-4102849/977-9851059026, Prime Law Associates, Anamnagar, Kathamndu,
firstname.lastname@example.org , www. primelawnepal.com
This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement,
personal communication, solicitation or inducement of any sort from the firm or any of its members. The
law office shall not be liable for consequences arising out of any action undertaken by any person relying
on the information provided herein.