Tuesday Feb 7, 2023
Tuesday Feb 7, 2023

Copyright laws need strengthening in Nepal

2022 Apr 17, 6:36, Kathmandu

The concept of copyrights in Nepal has yet to be implemented despite the fact that there is Copyright Act 2002. But before we move to the depths of it, let’s understand what Copyright really is, it is a legal term that describes the right given to the creators. It is the legal protection extended to the owners of the rights in an original work which they have created.

Copyright provides exclusive rights to the creators to use or to authorize to use their works. The definition of copyright may differ from country to country according to the country’s legislation. In the Nepalese context, the existing Copyright Act, 2002 provides the exclusive rights to the creators/authors on their creations which includes moral and economic rights which are the exclusive rights protected by law.

According to the act, Copyright includes:

1. Literary works

• Novels, Stories and Poetical Works.

• Text books, Articles, Essays and Biographies.

 • Encyclopedias and Dictionaries.

• Letters, Reports and Memorandum.

• Tables and Compilations.

 • Thesis and pamphlets.

2. Artistic works

• Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Engravings & Photographs.

• Work of Architecture, being either buildings or models of building,

• Work of Craftsmanship: 3 Musical works, 4 Dramatic and choreographic works, 5 Audio visual works/ Film and multimedia, 6 Computer programs etc.

Lawyer Shalik Ram Shapkota says, “There are alot of cases going in the high court for forging someone else’s trademark. Recently we had to take in a case about how people are taking others trademark and opening shops without their consent.” “As for the punishment for people who commit Copyright crimes, they are jailed for a year, and will have to pay compensation to the person or the company and the amount may vary with the crimes that were committed,” addes Shapkota.

To understand how Copyright really works, you have to understand that it is not a single right but a bundle of rights that can be discussed independently. And the rights under it are:

  1. Economic rights
  2. Moral rights

Economic rights: This right refers to section 7 of the Copyright Act, 2002. Economic rights are transferable rights of the creator, which can be transferred by concluding an agreement with the users. The creator may use the economic rights by him/herself or can allow others to use creation for generating wealth from it.

The creator has following rights:

  • Right of Reproduction.
  • Right of Broadcasting.
  • Right of Public Performance.
  •   Right of Adaption.
  • Right of Translation.
  •  Right of Public Recitation.
  • Right of Public Display.
  • Right of Distribution.

Moral rights

Further, section 8 of the Copyright Act, 2002, has listed the moral rights of the creator on the particular creations. The moral rights listed by the act are mentioned below:

  •  Right of authorship.
  •  Right of disclosure.
  •  Right to make necessary amendments for improvement.
  • Right concerning the work's integrity.

Owner of Pawan Misthan Bhandar, Pawan Kumar Haluwai says, “People come to us from different places of the world because of our name, “Pawan Sweets”. It is our property and our identity however there is a sweet store with the same name in Kathmandu that is not our franchise. We have filed a case for copyright and they are going to change the name in the near future. However, it is taking too long.” The Copyright act also includes an exception to the copyright of the owner under the Section 23A, which allows the use of the work for the purpose of providing access to people with special visual needs, without violating or affecting the economic right of the owner.

As the Copyright Act was amended in 2002, it makes one wonder if it is applicable in today's digital world. Jyoti Shrestha, owner of Class X presentation, says, "Nepal needs to work on the Copyright Act and make it more strict. As a producer, it is important to protect the clients’ songs and music. So right now we are working with an international distributor which costs us about 10 to 15 USD. The distributors help us to get content ids which helps us trace the contents and no one can use it without our permission.” “As for Nepal’s copyright system it is more in the papers which does not help the digital world. We tried using it for a week but had to change into the distributors because it was not helpful for Youtube, and other online streaming platforms,” adds Shrestha.

With everything moving at a fast pace, is the Copy Act, 2002 really leaving up to today’s world? There are many cases of some companies taking other company’s trademarks and just changing one word from the name. So does the Act really help protect the company’s name?


copyrights Economic rights Jyoti Shrestha Class X presentation YouTube trademarks Chiyawala copyright
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