• Business Names

    A business name is a name used for a business which- In the case of an individual or partnership, is different from the name(s) of the proprietor(s), and In the case of a company, is different from the company’s corporate name. All business names must be registered. It is an offence to operate a business under a business name which has not been registered. The Read More
  • Intellectual Property

    The term Intellectual property (IP) refers to the body of works which is the result of a creative human mind or intellect. IP protects the interests of creators in their works giving them property rights over their creations. IP rights are protected by national laws and international agreements – treaties and conventions. Some of the works protected by IP are: Literary, artistic and scientific works; Performances Read More
  • Patents

    What is a patent? A patent is the title given to protect an invention. This title gives the owner the exclusive rights to use, make, or sell the invention for a limited period of time. An invention is a product or a process which solves a specific problem in the field of technology. The grant of a patent provides a reward for the creator of Read More
  • Trade Marks

    What is a trade mark? A trade mark is the visible sign used to distinguish the goods (“trade mark”) or services (“service Mark”) of an enterprise. A trade mark may consist of words, designs, letters, pictures, numbers, packaging, slogans, devices or any combination of these. And a “Collective mark” is any visible sign used by a group or association of enterprises, which distinguish the origin Read More
  • Copyright

    Copyright is the exclusive property rights given to protect the creators of literary and artistic works. The aim of copyright is to promote science, culture and the arts. Copyright reward the creators of works by granting them rights, and strike a balance between these rights, and the interest of the public and entrepreneurs such as publishers, broadcasters, record companies and the like. The legal framework Read More
  • Companies

    About Companies Legal and Investment Advice Types of Company Setting up a Company Tax and Social Security Non-profit Companies External Companies International Business Companies ABOUT COMPANIES Not all businesses are companies. Many are run by sole traders or partnerships. A company is a legal person, separate from those who own or manage it. The possible benefits of operating as a company include: The people who Read More
  • Choosing A Name

    Similar rules apply to the choice of a name, whether this is being used for a company or other form of business. In short, the name must not be confusing, misleading or offensive. More precisely, a name must not be – the same as a name already on the register in Dominica, or So similar as to confuse or mislead. It must not imply a connection Read More
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Copyright is the exclusive property rights given to protect the creators of literary and artistic works. The aim of copyright is to promote science, culture and the arts. Copyright reward the creators of works by granting them rights, and strike a balance between these rights, and the interest of the public and entrepreneurs such as publishers, broadcasters, record companies and the like.

The legal framework for copyright protection in Dominica is the Copyright Act, Act No. 5 of 2003.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) which is the oldest international convention governing the protection of copyright, to which Dominica is a signatory, gives in broad terms what creations are to be protected by copyright laws:

"The expression 'literary and artistic works' shall include every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and writings; lectures, address, sermons and other works of the same nature: dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; musical compositions with or without works; cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography; photographic works, to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science. … Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work… collections of literary or artistic works such as encyclopaedias and anthologies which, by reason of the selection are arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creations shall be protected as such, without prejudice to the copyright in each of the works forming part of such collections."

The owners of copyright have the exclusive right of authorizing public performance, broadcasting and communication to the public of their works. Therefore, the presentation of a play in a theatre or a musical concert in a hall, the playing of music in discotheques, in street jams must be authorized by the copyright owner.

He has to authorize the translation or adaptation of his work into another language, a play or a movie for example. These translations or adaptations are also protected by copyright laws in their own right as original works.

Works derived from those original works are also protected in their own rights, these include:

  • Translations, adaptations, arrangements and other transformations or modifications of works; and
  • Collections of works, collections of mere data (databases) whether in machine readable or other form, and collections of expressions of folklore, provided that such collections are original by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents.