Afghanistan and copyright issues

Since 2008 copyright in Afghanistan has been governed by the law on the support the right of authors, composers, artists and researchers (Copy Right Law).[1]

International agreements

In 1958, Afghanistan ratified the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials, with Annexes A to E and Protocol annexed (Florence, 17 June 1950). In 1979, it accepted the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14 November 1970) and in 2005 it ratified the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Paris, 16 November 1972).[2] It acceded to the WIPO treaty on 13 September 2005, which came into action at the end of the year.[3][4]

In November 2003, the Copyright World journal reported that a group, Intellectual Property Working Group of the Afghanistan Transitional Commercial Law Project, had been working on setting up the first patent or copyright system for the country, and updating its trademark laws. It is a joint project of Center for International Management Education (CIME) and the American Bar Association's "Asia Law Initiative" (ABA-Asia).[5]

Relations with the United States

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As of 2005, Afghanistan has no official copyright relations with the United States,[6] resulting in works published in Afghanistan not being copyrighted in the United States, and vice versa.[7]

In October 2007, the US Department of Commerce and the Afghanistan Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a joint agreement to establish a forum for commercial cooperation including establishing intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.[8]

RTA incident

In 2005, Deputy-Minister of Information and Culture Saied Aqa Husain Sancharaki stated that a copyright law was forthcoming, which prompted the National Independent Commission for Radio and Television Broadcasting to circulate a statement requesting that media outlets either pay royalties or cease distributing material that had been created by Radio Television Afghanistan as the outlet began transforming to a public broadcaster. It was later pointed out that RTA had no right to make such an autonomous declaration.[9][10]

The move was criticised by the heads of Ayna TV and Tolo TV, who argued that the cost of royalties meant that potential independent media outlets could not afford to broadcast, and the lack of independent media in the country meant broadcasters relied on RTA footage to play "a significant cultural role...filling this void". The act contradicted the ministry's edict to "promote national culture and traditions" by outlawing the broadcast of the majority of the country's traditional films, music and programming.[9]


Trademarks and service marks are both registered for renewable ten-year terms through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Afghanistan, which has adopted the 8th edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services.[11]


External links

See also

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