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Duration of copyright

Duration of copyright

The duration of copyright in Hong Kong depends on the type of copyright work.

For the specific copyright works described below, the duration of copyright is as follows:

Type of copyright work

When copyright usually expires

Literary, dramatic and musical works, including computer programs, databases, the text of a marketing plan or business plan, annual reports, operational manuals, technical specifications, letters and emails etc.

50 years after the death of the author.

For computer-generated works, 50 years after the work was made.

Artistic works including paintings and photographs

50 years after the death of the author.

Sound recordings

50 years after it is made or (if released) its release


50 years after the death of the last of the following to die:

(a) the principal director;

(b) the author of the screenplay;

(c) the author of the dialogue; or

(d) the composer of music specially created for and used in the film

Broadcasts and cable programmes

50 years after the broadcast was made or the programme was included in a cable programme service

Typographical arrangements of published editions

25 years after its first publication

Works made by an officer of the Government in the course of his duties

125 years after it was made (if published commercially within 75 years after it was made) or 50 years after it was first so published


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