Legal basis

Royal Decree No. M/41 dated August 30, 2003

International Conventions

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works; Paris Copyright Convention

Works Protectable

Literary, artistic and Scientific

Validity of Registration

Author life time plus 50 years following his death.

Neighboring Rights


Computer softwares/databases


Works not Protectable

Official documents, ideas, plans of actions, mathematical concepts, reports of news of incidents and events, works falling in public domain.

Author’s Rights

To decide to publish, to claim authorship, to object to distorting and prejudicing amendments, to withdraw from circulation, to expedite, to license to exploit, to transfer etc.

Collective Management


Time Span for registration

3 -6 months

Appellate authority (administrate)

Copyright Committe

Appellate authority (judicial)

Board of Grievences

Enforcement of Copyright rights

  • Registered Copyright



  • Ministry of Information and Culture



  • Board of Grievences (infringment, unfair competition)



  • Civil Court (infringment,

                unfair competition)

  • Unregistered Copyright



  • Civil Court (infringment, unfair competition)

Court System


1st Instance     Appeal    Court of Cassation

Legal System

Based on Sharia (Islamic Law)


Official fee (USD)

Attorney fee (USD)

Total fees (USD)

Filing an application for registration of a copyright







A Power of Attorney duly legalized up to the Saudi Consulate


A Certified Copy of home or foreign registration up to the Saudi Consulate.


Copies of the work


Q1) What is the legal base of protection of copyrights in Saudi Arabia?
A1) Royal Decree No. M/41 dated August 30, 2003.
Q2) What works of authorship are protected by copyright law in Saudi Arabia?
a- books, booklets and other written matters.
b- works given verbally as lectures, speeches and sermons
c- dramatic plays and musical plays
d- musical works whether accompanied by words or not
e- the works of designing eurythmics and pantomime
f- photography works
g- cinema, television and broadcasting work, and creative audio visual works, and computer programs
h- works of applied arts whether handicraft or industrial
j- works of drawing and painting with lines or colors, architecture, sculpture, decorative arts engraving,
designs, geographical and topographical plans designs, and relief maps
k- encyclopedias, sundries and selections which form, in respect of selecting, arranging and editing their material, intellectual creative works.
Q3) What is the duration of protection of a copyright in Saudi Arabia?
A3) Life time of the author, plus 50 years after his death.
Q4) Are neighboring rights protected?
A4) Yes.
Q5) Does your law provide for collective management of copyrights and neighboring rights?
A5) Yes.
Q6) Are criminal and civil proceedings available for protecting copyrights and neighboring rights against infringements?
A6) Yes. However, it is advisable that such rights be registered in order to be enforced easily in the event of infringement.
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