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Intellectual property a major issue in Kuwait
April 22, 2017, 4:57 pm

Amid rising aggression on property rights worldwide, Kuwait has been paying due attention to the issue. The country, a signatory to relevant agreements, has adopted legislations to protect the copyrights. In 2011, Kuwait established a specialized department at the Ministry of Information for the application of the copyright. Later, the unit was moved to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under the "Copyright Department." Then a Cabinet decree in 2014 transferred it to the Kuwait National Library, an affiliate of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL).

Head of the department Sheikha Rasha Al-Sabah told KUNA Saturday that she and her staff work hard to preserve copyrights through registering works in the international filing and numbering section. She referred to Law 22/2016 on the protection of copyright, saying it was a quantum shift in the field in Kuwait.

It is considered "the best" in the Arab region in terms of text, Sheikha Rasha said, adding that the Cabinet is expected to issue the executive rule of the law in the coming weeks. The provisions of the law apply to all works of innovation, in arts, literature and science, she said.

According to the law, the term of copyright protection exists until the lapse of 50 years after the death of the author and in case of joint work; it is calculated from the death of the last surviving co-author, according to the law. The law also provides that any person who has committed copyright infringement is liable to be punished for either two years or a fine not less than KD 500 (US$164) and not exceeding KD 50,000 (US$16,004).

The copyright law is applicable to both the nationals and the foreigners. It is applicable to foreign authors who publish for the first time in Kuwait, or who are nationals of a member state of the International Organization of Intellectual Property Rights Convention (WIPO) publishing for the first time in any of the said countries, and those who are nationals of the countries that accord reciprocity rights to the nationals of Kuwait.

In March 1986, Kuwait joined the Arab Convention for the Protection of Copyright, which was ratified by the conference of ministers of cultural affairs in Baghdad in November 1981. It is also a signatory to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of 1994; the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of 1998, and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 2014.

The UNESCO chose 23 April as every day as the World Book and Copyright Day. It is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Vallejo.

Source: KUNA


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