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Copyright rules: Afghanistan
Flag of Afghanistan
Map of Afghanistan
Standard Life + 50 years (Afghan calendar)
Photograph Publish + 50 years
Anonymous Publish + 50 years
Audiovisual Publish + 50 years
Posthumous Publish + 50 years
Common licence tags {{PD-old-auto}}
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 AFG
Berne convention 2 June 2018
WTO member 29 July 2016
URAA restoration date 29 July 2016

This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Afghanistan relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Afghanistan must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Afghanistan and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Afghanistan, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.



Afghanistan came under loose British control in the late 19th century. After the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country regained independence. Since then the country has suffered from coups, invasions and civil war.

Afghanistan has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 29 July 2016 and the Berne Convention since 2 June 2018.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the 2008 Law Supporting the Rights of Authors, Composers, Artists and Researchers (Copyright Law) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Afghanistan.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]


Under the 2008 Copyright Law, protection is as follows:

  • Works published or broadcast during the life cycle of the author shall be protected 50 calendar years after his/her death unless the author has decided differently.[2008 Article 16.1.1]
  • Joint works published or broadcast during the life cycle of the authors shall be protected for 50 years after the death of the last author.[2008 Article 16.1.2]
  • Works published or broadcast with metaphorical (pseudonym) names shall be protected for 50 years after the first year of the publication.[2008 Article 16.1.3]
  • Works not published during the life cycle of the author and in the case of the joint work, that have not been published during the life cycle of the last author, shall be protected for 50 years effective from the first year of publication and broadcast.[2008 Article 16.1.4]
  • ­ Audiovisual works shall be protected for 50 years effective from the first year of the publication or broadcast.[2008 Article 16.1.5] If the work is not published or broadcast, it shall be protected for 50 years from fixation.[2008 Article 16.2]
  • Photography and painting works shall be protected 50 years effective from the first year of publication and broadcast.[2008 Article 16.1.6]


Public Culture (National Folklore) is an expression which include characterized principles of traditional artistic heritage originated or developed by a group of people in the State which reflect their artistic heritage and include the following expressions: Oral expressions such as tales, popular poetry and riddles; Musical expressions: include popular songs accompanied by music or without music; Motion expressions, include popular Atans (national dance), plays and other special popular artistic and ritual forms; Identical expressions such as products or popular art such as drawings with lines and colors, engravings, statuary, pottery, needlework, woodwork, mosaic, metalwork, jewelry, knitting, carpet weaving and other textiles; Musical instruments; Different architectural works.[2008 Article 3.23] National folklore shall be the public property of the State, the Ministry of Information and Culture, shall protect National Folklore by all legal means.[2008 Article 45]

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

  Not OK, for personal uses only

Reproduction of published Work is permitted by a natural person without the Author’s authorization provided that it is exclusively for the personal use, the followings are exceptions: 1)­ Reproduction of architecture Work in the form of a building or construction ...[2008 Article 39(1)]

Threshold of originality

See also: Commons:Threshold of originality

According to the 2008 Copyright Law, work that may be protected includes: Photography work that has been created using an innovative mode; Innovative work of handicraft or industrial art (carpet designs, rugs, felt carpet and its attachments etc.); Innovative work which has been created based on the public culture (folklore) or national cultural heritage and art.[2008 Article 6(1) items 7-9]


See also: Commons:Stamps/Public domain Copyright expires 50 years after first put in circulation.[2008 Article 16.1.6] Use {{PD-Afghanistan}}.

See also


  1. a b Afghanistan Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Law Supporting the Rights of Authors, Composers, Artists and Researchers (Copyright Law). Afghanistan (2008). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer