IPELA Copyright Services​

IPELA provides consultancy services on Copyright including registration of copyrightable works in Ethiopia, drafting license and assignment agreements, support service for collective management societies, conduct researches, prepare publications and organize and conduct trainings on copyright issues.

Copyright Services

Our Copyright Consultancy Services benefit both right holders and users. We empower right holders how to protect and administer their rights. We also consult users on the terms of usage of copyrighted works which will benefit them not to commit infringement of rights.

IPELA process registration of copyrightable works before the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office that is undergone on voluntary basis. Copyright registration certificate serves as a prima facie evidence in Ethiopia to claim ownership right over a given work. IPELA provides the following specific services in relation with registration of copyrightable works:

  • Filing registration applications and deposit of works
  • Registration of assignment of rights
  • Renewal of certificate of registration
  • Search and report of registered works

The above steps can be requested on separate basis according to customer’s needs.

IPELA consists of specialized experts who intensively figure out transactions involving within the Ethiopian copyright industry. We represent clients in negotiating on the terms and conditions of licensing and assignment of copyright. We draft agreements for range of deals including publications, broadcasting, online streaming, performance, adaptations, distribution and reproduction of works.

IPELA procures for the formation, organization and advocacy of copyright collective management societies. We advise on internal structural setup, administration and operation of collective management societies to lead their way to success.

IPELA works research on Copyright including researches on the Economic contribution of copyright industry to the economy, on the level of Copyright infringement, Surveys on the level of the awareness of the general public on Copyright matters, on the identification of major challenges of the Copyright industry and on other issues associated with the Copyright industry.

IPELA prepares different writings on Copyright including booklets, reports, brochures and periodicals for both government and non-government institutions.

IPELA organizes and conducts Copyright trainings for different group of clients like Right Holders associations, Users, Publishing companies, Content providers (aggregators) and to other groups in need.

FAQ on Copyright

Copyright is a legal protection enshrined to creations of human mind in the field of artistic, literary and scientific works. Copyright protects expressions of ideas not the ideas themselves.

Works protected by copyright includes the following artistic, literary and scientific works.

  • books, booklet, articles in reviews and newspaper, computer programs;
  • speeches, lectures, addresses, sermons and other oral works;
  • dramatic, dramatic-musical works, pantomimes, choreographic works and other works created for stage production;
  • musical compositions;
  • audiovisual works;
  • works of architecture;
  • works of drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, lithography, tapestry and other works of fine arts;
  • photographs works;
  • illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three dimensional works related to geography, topography, architecture or science.

In addition to the above list, copyright protects derivative works like translations, adaptations, arrangements and other transformations or modifications, collection of works such as encyclopedia or anthologies or database whether in machine readable or other form provided that such collections are original by reason of the selection or arrangements.

The Ethiopian copyright law has excluded the following subject matters from copyright protection.

  • Any idea, procedure, system, method of operation, concept, formula, numerical tables and forms of general use, principle, discovery or mere date, even if expressed, described, explained, illustrated or embodied in a work; and
  • Any official text of a legislative, administrative or of legal nature, as well as official translations thereof.

Unlike most of other domains of intellectual property, copyright protection is not subjected to any formality requirements of protection like registration and/or making deposits of works. The author of a work shall, irrespective of the quality of the work and the purpose for which the work may have been created, be entitled to protection, for his/her work without any formality and upon creation where it is original and fixed. A work is said to be original if it is originally created by a person claiming authorship. Fixation refers the act of recording or writing of a work on tangible medium.

Even though registration is not requirement for protection, a number of countries including Ethiopia have a system of registration of works protected by copyright. Thus, a person can register his/her work voluntarily for evidence purpose. The registration certificate serves as prima facie evidence before a court of law.

Copyright holders have two types of rights namely; economic and moral rights.

Authors have the following economic rights;

  • reproduction of the work;
  • translation of the work;
  • adaptation, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
  • distribution of the original or a copy of the work to the public by sale or rental;
  • importation of original or copies of the work;
  • public display of the original or a copy of the work;
  • performance of the work;
  • broadcasting of the work;
  • other communication of the work to the public.

Authors have the following moral rights;

  • to claim authorship of his/her work
  • to remain anonymous or to use a pseudonym;
  • to object any distortion, mutilation or other alteration of his/her work, where such an act is or would be prejudicial to his/her honor or reputation;
  • to publish his/her work.

The term of copyright protection differs depending on the type of the work. It is life of the author plus fifty years in case of authorship. Rights related with collective works or works published anonymously or under a pseudonym are protected for fifty years from the date on which the work was either made or first made available to the public or first published which ever date is the latest. Rights related to photographic works are protected for twenty five years from the making of the work. Rights related to audiovisual works are protected for fifty years from the date of making of the work or communication of the work to the public, whichever is the latest.

Neighboring right is a right granted for performers, sound recording producers and broadcasting organizations in respect of their roles in communicating copyrightable works to users. Neighboring right is emerged from the concept of copyright and it doesn’t exist by its own without the existence of copyrightable works.

Neighboring right belongs to performers (actors, singers, musicians and the like), sound recording producers and broadcasting organizations.

Performers’ right is protected until the end of the fiftieth year following the year in which the performance was fixed in a sound recording or in absence of such fixation, from the end of the year in which the performance took place. The rights of sound recording producer are protected   fifty years from the end of year of publication, or when the sound recording has not been published until the expiry of fifty years from the end of the year of fixation.