The Copyright Law No. 10 of the year 1993 governs the protections of Copyright in Bahrain and as of October 29, 1996 Bahrain has become a member to the Berne Convention.

In order to gain protection, the publishers of copyrightable works will have to deposit three copies of the work with the Copyright Protection Office at the Ministry of Information. Original works of literature, art and science regardless of type, importance or purpose are protectable. This includes works of art expressed in writing, sounds, drawings, photography and motion pictures, such as books, writings, speeches, oral works, plays, dramatic works, musical compositions, films, phonographic works, applied art, 3-D works maybe protected for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years following his/her death. Computer programs and software are protectable under the law for 40 to 50 years.

In order for protection to be effective the work of art is to be original and include personal efforts, innovation and new arrangement.

The National Council for Culture reserves the right to allow publication of the work of art if the copyright holder has not done so or if his/her heirs do not publish it within one year of being informed to do so in writing. In this case the Ministry of Information can obtain an order from the High Court of Justice to impound the work and to hand it over to the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature, while providing the copyright holder or the heirs with fair compensation.

Infringements are prosecuted before the Civil Court of Bahrain. The court can stop the circulation of infringing works, seize and destroy them and the equipment used, estimate the infringers' proceeds, and call upon experts' assessment, in addition to an imprisonment period or a fine.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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