Jordan/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The law protects copyright for writing and literature, although this is rarely implemented. Also within the laws listed below, clauses such as “the use of a work of art shall not be considered as infringement of rights when such use occurs within a private family gathering or at an educational, cultural or social institution, provided that the source is mentioned” is vague, leaving much to the personal interpretation of a judge in the case of a court ruling.

The protection of artistic work is detailed in the following laws:

  • Protection of the collections of literary or artistic works, such as encyclopaedias, anthologies, and data compilations, whether in machine-readable or other forms.
  • A performer is granted the right of prohibiting third parties from recording live performance or the reproduction of performances by any means without his prior consent.
  • The protection period of the rights of performers and producers of phonograms shall be for 50 years as of the date of fixation of the performance. The protection period of radio and television broadcasts has been fixed at 20 years.
  • The financial rights of the author have been extended to a period of 50 years after his death or death of the last surviving co-author.

As for software, which is a very apparent phenomenon, this is protected under the following laws:

  • Protection of computer programs, whether in source or object code.
  • The copyright protection office staff shall be able, under the pertinent law, to exercise the powers of judicial police officers in the implementation of the provisions of the law, and shall have the power to inspect, seize, and destroy pirated copies, and to close down the business concerned with carrying out the infringement.
  • The non-deposit of a work of art shall not prejudice the rights of the copyright holder of such a work.
  • The maximum penalty for copyright infringement has been raised to imprisonment for a period not less than 3 months and a fine ranging from JD 1,000.00 to JD 3,000.00 (US$ 1,400.00 to US$ 4,200.00), or both penalties.

Unfortunately, the government has not been able to exercise control over copyright, and infringement happens on many levels. For example, the accessibility of pirated copies as movies, music and computer software are sold in many places throughout the country. The problem with applying the law here is that the penalty is very low, and the profit margins of these businesses is high enough to be able to afford paying the fines, even if they occurred several time a year.  The law does not actually define the term copyright, but only acknowledges that the “law offers legal protection to any kind of original work in literature, art and science regardless of the value or purpose of the work.”

Chapter published: 04-05-2016