Copyright Services

What is copyright?

Copyright is a bundle of rights which belongs to a particular work and determines the ways of how other people can use that work. Copyright law protects the literary and artistic works of authors and given the moral recognition for the original author for his or her intellectual work.


Copyright Law of Sri Lanka

Copyright law of Sri Lanka protected by the Intellectual Property Act No 36 of 2003. Also the regulations of this law published in the Government Gazette numbers of 1415/18 of October 19, 2005, 1445/10 of May 17, 2006 and 1572/18 of December 13, 2007.  The Parliament of Sri Lanka enforced this act to protect and preserve the intellectual property rights of Sri Lanka. As violation of copyright is a series crime and punishable offence in Sri Lanka better awareness on copyright law and copyrighted materials are much important.


Types of works protected by the Copyright law

Copyright coverage has been given to the literary, artistic and scientific works including books, computer programmes, articles, oral works, dramatic works, stage productions, teleplays, musical works, works of architecture, films, drawings, paintings and photographs, databases and translations (Section 05, Intellectual Property Act 2003). In Sri Lanka, the copyright of an original work has been protected till the death of an author and 70 years after the his or her death.

Copyright and Fair Use

Under “Fair Use” certain portion of a copyrighted material can be used without the permission or authorization of the copyright holder. The section 11 of the Intellectual Property Act, 2003 indicates certain the circumstances such as teaching, non- profit educational purposes, research and scholarly works, news reporting, criticism and comment covers under the fair use.


Fair Use and the Library

paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 9, of the intellectual Property Act 2003 clearly mentioned about the fair use of copyrighted materials without infringing the copyright. Library or an archive work on noncommercial purposes can be reproduced a single copy of a copyrighted work without obtaining the authorization of the copyright holder. This reproduction can only be done if library or archive is satisfied with that the reproduce copy will be used only for the individual research, study or scholarship.