Alsafar ISO 9001-2008 Certified

Copyright – Infringements and Remedies

Written by Alena Parker esq. on
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Copyright being the exclusive right of the owner to exploit the work through publication, broadcasting, printing, making copies etc., any such act done by a person who is not the owner of the copyright and has not been assigned the copyright in a given work by the owner of the rights or without the written authorization from the copyright owner amount to copyright infringement and shall be liable to the owner of the copyright to provide for damages that owner suffers due to the said infringement of his copyright.

The UAE law regarding copyright and its related rights (federal law no. 7 of 2002) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the law’) deals with the various ways in which copyright infringement may take place and has provided for penalties for them. A list of the infringements and the penalties provided for them is as under:

    1. Trespassing one of the moral or financial rights of the author or the holder of the related rights provided for in this Law which also includes the publication of any work, performance, sound recording or broadcast that is protected by the law. The publication may be through any means including but not limited to the means of computers, internet, information and communication networks. The offender in this case is sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum period of two months, and to a fine amounting to ten thousand dirhams (AED 10,000) at least to a maximum of fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000), or to either penalty. On recurrence of the offence the penalty increases to a six months imprisonment and a minimum fine of fifty thousand dirham (AED 50,000).

    2. The selling, renting or offering for circulation, in any manner or by any means, a work, sound recording, or broadcast that is protected by the law is an offence punishable with an imprisonment for a minimum period of two months, and to a fine amounting to ten thousand dirhams (AED 10.000) at least to a maximum of fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000), or to either penalty. On recurrence of the offence the penalty increases to a six months imprisonment and a minimum fine of fifty thousand dirham (AED 50,000).

    3. The undue manufacture or import, for the purpose of sale, rental or circulation, any counterfeited work or copies thereof, any apparatuses, equipment, devices or materials specially designed or prepared for defrauding protection or technology used by the author or holder of related right for transmitting, offering for circulation, regulating or managing such rights; or preserving a specific standard of purity of the copies is an offence under the law and is subject to a penalty of imprisonment for a minimum period of three months and a fine amounting to a minimum of fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000) to a maximum of five hundred thousand dirhams (AED 500,000). In case of repetition of the offence, the increased penalty is imprisonment for a minimum period of nine months and a fine amounting to a minimum amount of two hundred thousand dirhams (AED 200,000).

    4. The Undue disruption or impair of any technical protection or electronic data that is aimed at regulating and managing the rights prescribed by the law is an offence that subject to a penalty of imprisonment for a minimum period of three months and a fine amounting to a minimum of fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000) to a maximum of five hundred thousand dirhams (AED 500,000). In case of repetition of the offence, the increased penalty is imprisonment for a minimum period of nine months and a fine amounting to a minimum amount of two hundred thousand dirhams (AED 200,000).

    5. The downloading or storing in the computer any copy of the computer program or applications thereof or databases, without obtaining a license from the author or right holder or successors thereof is penalized by the law with an imprisonment for a minimum period of three months and a fine amounting to a minimum of fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000) to a maximum of five hundred thousand dirhams (AED 500,000). In case of repetition of the offence, the increased penalty is imprisonment for a minimum period of nine months and a fine amounting to a minimum amount of two hundred thousand dirhams (AED 200,000).

    6. The using of a computer program or applications thereof or databases, without obtaining in advance a license from the author or successors thereto is penalized with a fine amounting to a minimum of ten thousand dirhams (AED 10,000) upto a maximum of thirty thousand dirhams (AED 30,000) for each program, application or database. In case of recurrence the offence shall be penalized with a minimum of thirty thousand dirhams (AED 30,000). This provision is an exception of the offences number 1 and 2 mentioned above.

Apart from the above mentioned penalties the court may also order the following:

  • Confiscation and destruction of counterfeited copies subject of the offence or copies reproduced therefrom.
  • The confiscation of the equipment, and devices used in the perpetration of the offence, and which cannot be used for any other purpose.
  • Closing of the establishment in which the counterfeiting has been committed; for a period not exceeding six months.
  • Publication of the summary of the court ruling in one or more daily newspapers on the expense of the condemned party.

Apart from the penalties for the offences, the law also provides for some intermediate measures for immediate relief to the claimant. The claimant i.e. the author or his successor may request to the President of the Court of First Instance to make any of the following orders along with an injunction order:

    1. Making detailed description of the work (subject to infringement).

    2. Stopping the publication, exhibition or production of the work.

    3. Seizing the original or copies of the work, (whether books, pictures, drawings, performances, photographs, sound recordings or broadcasts, or otherwise); as well as the devices that are used in re-publishing or reproducing such work, provided that such devices are not valid except for re-publishing or reproducing of the work.

    4. Establishing public performance as regards playing, acting or reciting a work to the public and preventing the going exhibition or prohibiting it for the future.

    5. Computing the income generated from the publication, performance or exhibition, by an expert appointed for this purpose, if necessary, and seize such income in all instances.

    6. Establishing the fact of trespassing on any of the rights protected under the law.
    In order to execute the Injunction order, the claimant must submit the dispute to the competent court within a period of fifteen days from the date of the issue of the injunction order.

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For legal advice regarding the subject, please call +971 4 4221944, or call 800-LAWYER (529937).


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