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Copyright rules: Macao
Shortcut: COM:MACAO
Flag of Macao
Map of Macao
Standard Life + 50 years
Anonymous Publish + 50 years
Audiovisual Publish + 50 years
Collective Publish + 50 years
Applied art Create + 25 years
Terms run to year end Yes
Common licence tags {{PD-MacaoGov}}
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 MAC
WTO member 31 December 1994
URAA restoration date 1 January 1996

This page provides an overview of copyright rules of China's special administrative region of Macao relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Macao must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Macao 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 Macao, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.



In 1887 Portugal gained rights to Macao, which was returned to China as a special administrative region in 1999. Macao remains under a separate political and economic system from the rest of China until 2049.

Macao has belonged to the World Trade Organization since 31 December 1994.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed Decree-Law No. 43/99/M of August 16, 1999, on the Regime of Copyright and Related Rights (as amended by Law No. 5/2012 of April 10, 2012) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Macao.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2]


According to Decree-Law No. 43/99/M of August 16, 1999, on the Regime of Copyright and Related Rights (as amended by Law No. 5/2012 of April 10, 2012),

  • Generally, copyright shall lapse 50 years after the death of the creator of the work, even in the case of works disclosed or published posthumously.[43/99/M/2012 Article 21]
  • The time-limits for the expiry of copyright will only start to run from the first day of the year following that in which the determining event occurs.[43/99/M/2012 Article 21]
  • Copyright in a collaborative work expires 50 years after the date of the death of the co-author who died last.[43/99/M/2012 Article 22.1]
  • Copyright in a collective work or work made for a legal entity shall lapse, unless otherwise provided, 50 years after the first disclosure or publication.[43/99/M/2012 Article 22.3]
  • The duration of copyright for individual contributions to collaborative and collective works, where the personal contributions can be discriminated, is 50 years after the death of the creator of the contribution.[43/99/M/2012 Article 22.4]
  • Copyright in an anonymous work, or work published or published without revealing the identity of the author, expires 50 years after disclosure or publication.[43/99/M/2012 Article 23.1]
  • Copyright in an audiovisual work lapses 50 years after its disclosure.[43/99/M/2012 Article 106]
  • Copyright in works of applied art lapse 25 years after the completion of the work.[43/99/M/2012 Article 148]
  • The rights of performers lapse 50 years after the end of the year in which the phonogram or videogram was made.[43/99/M/2012 Article 182]
  • The rights of producers of phonograms and videograms lapse 50 years after fixation.[43/99/M/2012 Article 188]
  • The rights of broadcasting organizations lapse 20 years after the broadcast.[43/99/M/2012 Article 192]
  • Non-Macanese works are copyrightable in Macao for the Macanese copyright duration or the home country or area, whichever is less, i.e. the rule of the shorter term applies in Macao.[43/99/M/2012 Article 51ff]

Not protected

According to Decree-Law No. 43/99/M of August 16, 1999, on the Regime of Copyright and Related Rights (as amended by Law No. 5/2012 of April 10, 2012), the following are not subject to protection: a) The news of the day and the reports of various events for the sake of simple information, in any case disclosed; (b) applications, claims, complaints and other documents submitted in writing or orally before public authorities or services; c) The texts presented and the speeches delivered to assemblies or other bodies collegiate, political and administrative matters, or in public debates on matters of common interest; d) Political speeches.[43/99/M/2012 Article 5.1]

Official works do not enjoy protection. Official texts, among others, are the texts of conventions, laws, regulations and reports or decisions of any authorities, as well as their translations.[43/99/M/2012 Article 6]

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-MacaoGov}} – for official works of Macao.
  • {{PD-MacaoGov-text}} – text is in the public domain because official texts shall not benefit from protection.
  • {{PD-MO}} – for works 50 years after the author's death or 50 years after creation if authorship unknown.
  • {{PD-MO-old-art}} – copyright in works of applied art shall lapse 25 years after the completion of the work.
  • {{PD-MO-old-audiovisual}} – copyright in an audiovisual work shall lapse 50 years after its disclosure.
  • {{PD-MO-old-broadcast}} – rights of broadcasting organizations shall lapse 20 years after the broadcast.
  • {{PD-MO-old-media}} – rights of producers of phonograms and videograms shall lapse 50 years after fixation.
  • {{PD-MO-old-photo}} – copyright in photographic works shall lapse 25 years after their completion.


See also: Commons:Currency   Not OK. Currency is copyrighted and reproduction requires approval from the Monetary Authority of Macao.

"In accordance with article 14.2 of the Decree-Law No. 7/95/M of January 30, requests for reproduction of banknotes for educational and promotional purposes with justifiable reasons could be approved by the Government. In practice, such requests should be made to the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM)."[3]

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

 OK {{FoP-Macao}}

  • It is legal, without the consent of the author ... To make copies by photography, videography, cinematography or other analogous means, of works of art placed in public places.[43/99/M/2012 Article 61(l)]
  • However, the free use of a protected work must not prevent its normal economic exploitation nor unjustifiably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.[43/99/M/2012 Article 62(l)]
  • The reproductions allowed under article 61 should not be confused with the original works by those who use them, and the reproduction or citation cannot be so extensive as to detract from the interest in those works.[43/99/M/2012 Article 62(3)]


  1. a b Macao, China Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. Decree-Law No. 43/99/M of August 16, 1999, on the Regime of Copyright and Related Rights (as amended by Law No. 5/2012 of April 10, 2012). Macao (2012). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. Monetary Authority of Macao (2016) Reproduction of banknotes of Macao for educational and promotional purposes[1]
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