Sri Lankan and International Intellectual Property Law

A friend recently had some issues with intellectual property laws and procedures in Sri Lanka. As a result, and due to my own curiosity, I hunted down the PDF for Sri Lanka's intellectual property law. 

It can be found on <a href="" target="_blank">Wikimedia</a> as well as WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Code of Intellectual Property Act No. 52 of 1979 (As Amended by Act Nos. 30 of 1980, 2 of 1983, 17 of 1990, 13 of 1997 and 40 of 2000). That's the most up to date law on the subject in Sri Lanka from what I can tell.. 

The Wikimedia site also gives a summary of the various rights and their duration, including one that I had not, for a moment, suspected existed. It is this: </p><blockquote>    <p>        <b>Sri Lankan folklore:</b> <i>Perpetual copyright. Permission to make any work derived from folklore must be sought from the Minister in charge of the subject of Culture. This right is claimed worldwide. Works falling in this category are considered unfree on Commons and are not allowed.</i>     </p> </blockquote><p>    Which reads to me that no one can legally make any kind of derivative work based on Sri Lankan folklore without first receiving permission, even if you live in, say, Iceland. I wonder why? And can you say Bizarro World? 

And, really, if you're looking for the intellectual property law of any country/region, check WIPO - <a href="" target="_blank">they seem to have most of the world covered</a>. 

At any rate, there's some nice light reading for you. :p But if Sri Lankan copyright law affects you in any way, don't rely on what other people say - they may or may not have even a clue what they're talking about - go to the source and read it for yourself. 

And to dispel a few myths... 

Registering your copyright on the <a href="" target="_blank">US Copyright site</a> does not register your works worldwide, and it certainly does not cover anyone in Sri Lanka. It's not even necessary, depending on circumstances. Registering your copyright on the US copyright site will only get a person certain specific legal remedies from within the US itself. Other legal remedies are already automatic even without registration within the US. At any rate, registering copyright in the US only affects lawsuits <b>in the US</b>. 

Secondly, the <a href="" target="_blank">Poor Man's Copyright </a>- mailing an envelope containing your creative works - is not a good solution and will not hold up in a court of law in most countries, the UK being one exception, and even there, it's not automatic but rather on a case-by-case basis. 

If you have questions, find out the answers for yourself. Don't rely on he said, she said, but rather, read up on the law yourself or consult with a lawyer <b>who is an expert in intellectual property law</b>. Any old lawyer won't do - you wouldn't see a dermatologist for a kidney infection, now would you? 
Author: LMAshton
Howdy! I'm a beginner artist, hobbyist photographer, kitchen witch, wanderer by nature, and hermit introvert. This is my blog feed. You can find my fediverse posts at

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