Iranian Style “Copyright”

The Iranian president issued an order endorsing the law for punishment of those who are illegally engaged in audio and visual activities. According to that law, all forms of commercial activities in production, distribution, and presentation of audio and visual works, tapes and CDs would be only possible after obtaining relevant permits from Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and violators would be sentenced to pecuniary punishment ranging from 1,000 euros to 10,000 euros. The law has also obliged the police to prevent such activities, close down all places engaged in these activities and arrest offenders. The law has noted that any legal or real entity that takes any measure to introduce illegal audio or visual products in place of legal ones, or infringe upon the rights of producers of such works by illegal reproduction and distribution of their works, would be subject to pecuniary punishment from 2,000 euros up to 20,000 euros. Meanwhile, those involved in production, distribution, reproduction, and keeping illegal audio or visual products will be sentenced to various punishments proportionate to the content of the work ranging from 1-3 years in prison, confiscation of equipment, 10,000 euros in fines, and deprivation of social rights for up to seven years in the first instance. In case of repetition, they would be subject to 2-5 years in prison, confiscation of equipment, 20,000 euros in fines, and deprivation of social rights for 10 years. Also, reproduction of obscene content and pornography through electronic media and websites or similar means would be considered an example of reproduction and distribution and potentially liable to punishment set forth by the said law.

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