Copyright Law Nepal

The law relating to copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, 2022. A copyright subsist in a work. As per the Act a work may be defined as
  1. Any writing, essay, story, poem, novel, epic, or lyrical poem, or any other book, pamphlet, descriptive writing, or any part thereof relating to poetry or prose and which has been written, printed, lithographed, typed or produced through some mechanical device or broadcasted, in whole or in parts, whether in their original or translated form.
  2. Any drama or cinema or any dialogue, scenographic arrangement, or manner of acting, or any part thereof; or
  3. Any drawing, map or photograph made, engraved or photographed, or any other direct drawing or creative work, or any part thereof, or
  4. Any musical notation or sound record, or any part thereof; or
  5. Any other kind of creative work relating to literature, music or art, or any part thereof.
Any person registering any of his work shall, in respect of such work, have the copyright in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
The right to have the copyright of any work registered shall vest only in the author of the work. 'Provided that in the following cases, the right to have such copyright registered shall, instead of the author, vest in the following persons:
  1. In respect of a work, of which the author has in any manner relinquished his rights thereon, the person acquiring such right;
  2. The author of the work having granted authority to any other person to utilize his work, the person who has been given such authority;
  3. In respect of any work produced for remuneration, the person who pays such remuneration, except when there is any agreement to the contrary;
  4. In respect of any work whatsoever produced during the working hours assigned for producing such work on the basis of fixed salary, the person who pays such salary; and
  5. In respect of an anonymous work, of which the author is not identified, until such authorship is established, the publisher of the work.

Any person who is an original author of the work desires to register any work shall apply to the office of the Registrar giving such particulars as have been prescribed together with evidence of his ownership in such copyright; such application shall accompany the prescribed registration fee.

The Registrar shall, after making inquiry as to the propriety of registering the ownership and, if necessary, after consulting the Board on the matter, register the name of the applicant by charging the prescribed fee and, thereupon, shall provide the applicant with the necessary certificate; and in case the Registrar finds that the applicant is not entitled to such registration, he shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision.

The ownership of copyright in any work so registered during the lifetime of the author and shall continue for fifty years after his death. Provided that:
  1. in the case of joint authorship of copyright of two or more than two persons, the copyright shall subsist for a period of fifty years beginning from the date of death of any of such authors whoever dies first.
  2. In the case of an anonymous work, the copyright shall subsist only for a period of fifty years beginning from the date on which the work is published.
In case any owner of the copyright registered may issue licence to publish whole or part of such work, the licensee shall be entitled to publish such work in accordance with the conditions of the licence only. The term of a licence given shall extend up to the period the copyright in that work.

-In case any person, for the purpose of public show in a specified place of any work already registered for copyright pursuant to this Act, submits application for a licence therefor, the Registrar on being satisfied that such a show is necessary in the interest of the public, may, after recording his reasons therefor, grant general or special licence for such show after specifying the necessary conditions. The Registrar shall publish a notice of the grant of such licence in the leading newspapers and magazines.

In case any recognised public library, for the purpose of keeping in the library, makes a request for licence to prepare a copy of any work, already registered for copyright pursuant to this Act, by submitting proof to the satisfaction of the Registrar, [the Registrar] may, for the purpose of keeping such copy in the library, grant licence for the reproduction of whole or any specified portion of that work.

Any publication which has been made without the licence of the owner of the copyright pursuant to this Act or without a licence from the Registrar, or, even though possessing licence for such publication, has been published for monetary gain or otherwise in contravention of the conditions laid down in the undertaking or licence, shall be deemed to be an unauthorized publication.

Provided that any publication made in the following circumstances shall not be deemed to be an unauthorized publication:
  1. Fair and necessary publication of any work in connection with private study, research, criticism, review and any act in connection with news and magazines, radio diffusion and court proceedings; or
  2. Any publication of an excerpt from an unpublished work made with the bona fide intention of using it for an academic institution and which clearly indicates in its title the purpose of using it for an academic institution and the description of the author.
Any complaint with regard to any infringement of the copyright registered under this Act shall be entertained if filed within six months from the date of its infringement.

Any person making any unauthorized publication shall be liable to a fine extending from rupees one hundred to rupees five hundred and, in case the offence is committed for the fourth time, he shall be liable to imprisonment for six months for each of such commission, whereupon such publication shall be confiscated.
Any person doing any act in contravention of the provisions of the Act shall be liable to pay compensation at the request of the owner of the copyright for any loss caused to him.


Any person acting in contravention of any of the conditions of a licence granted shall liable to a fine extending from rupees one hundred to rupees five hundred, whereupon the licence shall be cancelled.
Any person not satisfied with any of the orders or decisions of the Registrar may file his appeal within 35 days of such orders or decisions to His Majesty's Government.