Tunisia/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The copyright system in Tunisia is regulated according to the following frameworks:

International framework:

-          International conventions ratified by Tunisia, which include: Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works in 1986 and the World Trade Organization TRIPS Agreement (annex 1 c- Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).

National rules include the following:

      Law 94-36of 24thFebruary 1994, on literary and artistic property as modified and completed by law No. 2009-33of 23rdJune 2009.

  • Decree 96-2230of 11thNovember 1996, concerning the administrative and financial organization of the Tunisian Organization for the protection of authors’ rights and working methods.
  • Law 77/2008  of 22nd December 2008 on Budget organic law for 2009 ( Creation of the  Funds for the promotion of literary and artistic creativity)
  • Decree 2011-1068of 29th July 2011 concerning the list of products subject to the fee for promoting creativity.
  • Decree 2013-3201of 31stJuly 2013, concerning the conditions and methods of intervention  related to the Funds for the promotion of literary and artistic creativity

The protection of artists and creators rights lie within the special law for copyright which stresses the economic and moral rights of the author. Copyrights in the Tunisian legislation is based on the international definition of these rights including related rights. Examples of protected works include: literature, music, theatre, cinema, photography, visual arts and architecture.

The protection of copyright belongs to the cultural policy sphere and is included in the attributions of Ministry of Culture. Copyright protection began in Tunisia within the framework of the Tunisian Association of authors and composers, formed in 1968, and then replaced in 1994 by the Tunisian organization for the protection of authors’ rights and overseen by the Ministry of culture.  The organization administers a collective management system for artists and intellectuals in Tunisia. After becoming a member, artworks owners delegate the organization to follow the exploitation of their copyrights, royalties’ collection and distribution, and represent them in litigate. In addition, the organization contributes to the promotion of awareness on copyrights and related rights.

In addition to copyright, the Tunisian organization for the protection of authors’ rights is mandated to administer the Social Funds for artists, creators and intellectuals, as well as the Funds for the promotion of artistic and literary creativity in relation to the distribution of royalties.

Copyright in Tunisia faces several difficulties amongst them the lack of awareness among artists about their rights and obligations and the phenomena of global piracy that hit national industry for film, music and publishing. 

Chapter published: 05-05-2015