Copyright Policy

Prologue

It is the policy of the Library to respect the rights of copyright owners and the rights of the Library and its patrons to benefit from copyright law.  As an institution operating in the State of Qatar, services of the Qatar National Library (the Library) are governed principally by Law No. 7 of 2002 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights (the Copyright Act).  All Library services must be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable national and international copyright law, at all times respecting the rights and interests of copyright owners, while also exercising rights and opportunities allowed to libraries and the public.

This policy is in furtherance of the mission of the Library as set forth in the Amiri Decision No. (11) 2018: “The library aims at facilitating access to the intellectual, literary and scientific production of human civilization, owning and displaying books, manuscripts, documents and periodicals, reviving intellectual and cultural heritage in all its forms, facilitating its study and benefiting from it.”


1. Context and Background

    1.1  Purpose of this Policy

  • To state the Library’s rights and responsibilities and procedures and guidelines, regarding the reproduction and other uses of copyrighted materials consistent with the right law of Qatar.
  • To serve the public by authorizing library services within the framework of the applicable law.
  • To respect the objectives of copyright law by respecting the interests of rights holders and simultaneously the public interest in encouraging the advancement of knowledge and creativity.
  • To inform Library staff and users about the application of copyright principles to library services.
  • To adopt and implement at the Library various national and international standards of best practices for library services.

    1.2  Scope of this Policy

  • This policy is specifically about copyright law.  Some library services may occasionally be affected by other provisions of law, such as privacy rights and contract obligations that may apply to some works in the QNL collections; those issues are outside the scope of this policy.  Library users should consult with the Library staff regarding any such agreements that may apply to particular items.
  • This policy is based on and reflects the law of Qatar. Persons located in or using works in other countries should consult with local counsel about local law.
  • This policy applies to all types of copyrighted works as well as to “neighboring rights” in performances, sound recordings, and broadcasts.
  • This policy offers guidance that may affect specific Library services.  Except as may be explicitly stated, this policy is not about the rights of users to use materials in our collections.
  • This policy is not a substitute for legal counsel and we cannot give legal advice to users or any other party.
  • This policy is not a comprehensive statement of the possible services or the conditions under which services will be provided.  Each unit within the Library providing specific services may develop and implement specific standards or appropriate practices for the full implementation of copyright standards.

    1.3  What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legal system defining rights that authors and other creators may hold and possibly enforce with respect to their original literary and artistic works.  The Copyright Decree (referenced above) is the principal expression of legal rights, limitations, and exceptions as applied to protected works in the State of Qatar.  In summary, copyright law is based on the following principles and concepts. This policy offers only a summary; the Copyright Decree includes additional details and variations on many of the following:

Protected Works:

Copyright law protects a wide variety of original literary and artistic works, including books and other writings, oral lectures and sermons, musical compositions and lyrics, choreography, movies and other audiovisual works, photography, artworks, drawings, architectural designs, and computer programs. As a result, many of the different types of works in the Library’s collections are protectable under copyright law.

Rights of the Author:

The author of the work holds the moral rights, but the author may transfer or license some or all rights to other persons or companies.  The rights under copyright law include rights of reproduction, translation or making other derivatives, distribution to the public, public performance or communication, and rental to the public of audiovisual works or computer programs. Such uses of a copyrighted work may require permission from the copyright owner, unless the use is within an exception (summarized below).

Duration of Copyright:  

For most works, copyrights last for the remainder of the life of the author, plus 50 calendar years. Copyrights eventually expire, and many older works are now or will be in the “public domain” and available for use without copyright restrictions. 

Limitations and Exceptions:

The law includes several statutes that authorize uses of copyrighted works without consent of the copyright owner. Certain of those provisions are important to QNL and its patrons, and they are referenced in this policy.

    1.4  Qatar National Library Collections and Copyright

The collections at the Library comprise large quantities of copyrighted works in analog and digital form; the copying, sharing, and other uses of many materials in our collections are governed by copyright law. Copyright protection applies automatically to most original works immediately upon their creation, and copyright applies even in the work lacks a copyright notice (such as “©”). Under the Berne Convention and other multinational treaties, works that were originally created or published in most other countries of the world are also subject to copyright protection under the law of Qatar while they are located in, or are being used in, the State of Qatar (see Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and a summary of Qatar’s Treaty Memberships).

2.  Implementation of Copyright Provisions

    2.1  Public Domain – Works Excluded from Copyright Protection

    It is the policy of the Library to make appropriate uses of the classes of works that do not have copyright protection.  Under the Copyright Decree, certain specific types of works do not have copyright protection:

  • Laws, legal provisions, administrative decisions, international treaties, official documents, or any official translations of such works.  However, an original or creative collection of such works may have protection as such.  As a result, copyright limitations will generally not prevent copying and making other uses of individual legal sources.
  • Daily news and other media-related news.  
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, mathematical concepts, principles, and data or facts. However, original works that explain or express such works may be protected.

    2.2  Public Domain – Expired Copyrights

    It is the policy of the Library to make appropriate uses of works that have entered the public domain due to the expiration of copyright protection. Copyright protection lasts for a defined period of years, and upon expiration of the copyright, the work enters the public domain and may be used without copyright restrictions. For most works, copyrights last for the remainder of the life of the author, plus 50 calendar years, but specialized rules apply to some other types of works.

    2.3  Lending of Works in the Collections

It is the policy of the Library to allow lending of many works in the collections. The Library may allow copyrighted works to be loaned to authorized users outside the premises of the library, subject to applicable policies and procedures.  Where appropriate, we may allow lending or delivery of works and copies of works to patrons inside Qatar and in other countries in fulfillment of the QNL document delivery programs.  Nevertheless, the Library reserves the right not to permit the lending of works that may be rare, fragile, valuable, or for other reason not be appropriate for use outside the library premises.

    2.4  Copyright Exceptions

It is the policy of the Library to provide appropriate services consistent with specific exceptions set forth in the     Copyright Decree, summarized below.

    2.5  Copies for Patrons (Article 21(2))

The Library may make analog or digital image reproductions of specific works as requested by patrons, consistent with Article 21(2) of the Copyright Act.  Requirements of the Copyright Act include:

  • A patron may be provided with a single copy.
  • The copy is to be used solely for the purposes of study, scholarship, or research.
  • The copy will generally be of a published article, a summary or an extract of work.
  • Repeat requests for the same works must be on isolated and unrelated occasions.

A patron may make a request in person at the Library or from the patron’s location or local library, allowing access to the works whether the patron is inside or outside of the Library building.

    2.6  Preservation & Replacement Copies (Article 21(2))

The Library may make analog or digital image reproductions of specific works for preservation and replacement of works in the collection, consistent with Article 21(2) of the Copyright Decree.  Requirements of the Copyright Decree include:

  • The Library may reproduce any work in the collection for the purposes stated in the statute, if we may not obtain a copy by reasonable means.
  • The purpose may be to preserve a work that is in the Library collection.
  • The purpose may also be to replace a work in the collection of another library or archive, if the work in that other collection is lost, destroyed, or rendered unusable.

    2.7  Serving Persons with Disabilities

The State of Qatar has become a signatory to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.  As a result, the copyright provisions related to the needs of persons with disabilities will likely be revised in the near future.  Until then, the Library will permit individual users of the library, or their representatives, to make accessible format copies of works from the collection for their personal use. 

    2.8  User Copies and Use of Copy Machines and Printers (Article 18(1))

The Library may provide copy machines, printers, and other equipment for users to use at QNL in a manner consistent with copyright law. The Copyright Decree provides, at Article 18(1), that the public may use copyrighted works exclusively for personal enjoyment. The statute permits uses through reproduction, translation, quotation, musical arrangement, acting, receiving broadcasts, televiewing, photography, or any other means, provided the use does not conflict with the usual exploitation of the work or otherwise unreasonably prejudice the author’s legitimate interests.

    2.9  Educational Uses – Reproductions (Article 21(1))

In furtherance of its affiliation with educational institutions, and to the extent that the Library may itself serve as an educational institution, the Library may make analog or digital reproductions of specific works, consistent with Article 21(1) of the Copyright Decree.  Requirements of the Copyright Decree include:

  • The Library may reproduce articles and other short works or extracts for teaching purposes.
  • Copies must be isolated events and any repeat copies of the same work must be on isolated and unrelated occasions.
  • The name of the author and the title of the work must be included on all copies as practicable.
  • Reproduction is allowed to the extent justified by the educational purpose.

    2.10  Educational Uses – Teaching (Article 18(2))

In furtherance of its affiliation with educational institutions, and to the extent that the Library may itself serve as an educational institution, the Library may make analog or digital image reproductions and other uses of any works, consistent with Article 18(2) of the Copyright Decree.  The statute permits uses for teaching, through publication, broadcast, sound or visual recording, and films, or any other means, provided the use does not conflict with the usual exploitation of the work or otherwise unreasonably prejudice the author’s legitimate interests.

    2.11  Technological Protection Measures (Article 51)

The Library respects the integrity of protection measure and copyright information data that may be associated with some copyrighted works. The library will address any related issues that arise in connection with the use of works according to this policy.

3.  Library Management of Copyrights and Policy

    3.1  Additions to the Digital Library

It is the policy of the Library that it will include in the Digital Library works from diverse sources as permitted under copyright law.  Works may be added to the Digital Library based on many different circumstances, including:

  • Works in the public domain due to copyright expiration.
  • Works in the public domain due to uncopyrightable subject matter.
  • Copies that are made for preservation or replacement.
  • Copies that are made for a user’s study, scholarship, or research.
  • Works with permission from the rights-holder.
  • Works with an appropriate Creative Commons or other public license.

Although many works may be included in the Digital Library from diverse sources, the Library reserves the right to decline to add works or to limit access or certain uses of some works in the Digital Library.

    3.2  Copyright Status of Library Documents

It is the policy of the Library that it will make many of the copyrighted works we create available to the public under a public license. The copyright in this policy document is held by the Qatar Foundation  National Library and is accordingly made available for the public to adapt and share under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).  Users and visitors should review materials found in the library and on the Library website for the license that may apply to each copyrighted work.

It is the policy of the Library to facilitate the identification and use of works that are in the public domain. To that end, we will not assert copyright claims to scans or other direct reproductions of works that we make from our collections, separate from or in addition to any copyright in the underlying work.  The Library will endeavor to prevent any interference with the public domain status of works from our collections and will prevent entering into agreements with third parties that purport to extend or apply copyright restrictions to public domain works or to scans of them.  The Library will, when entering into arrangements with other institutions and partner libraries, further endeavor to prevent their asserting copyright claims in reproductions and public domain works.

    3.3  Use of Materials from the Library Collections

It is the policy of the Library that our users are responsible for assuring that their use of materials found in or received from the Library is consistent with applicable law.  

  • Users are responsible for acting in accordance with the law of the country where they are using copyrighted works and for using materials found in or received from the Library in a manner consistent with copyright law.
  • The Library will endeavor to help identify works that may be in the public domain or otherwise not be subject to any known copyright restrictions by use of statements such as those found at www.rightsstatements.org.
  • Except in extraordinary circumstances, the Library does not hold the copyright in works found in its collections. Therefore, we ordinarily do not grant or deny copyright permission merely because the work was found in the library’s collections.
  • Users who believe that they require permission from the Library should contact the Director of Digital Content & Engagement.
  • Users using materials from our collections are asked to acknowledge the Qatar National Library as the source in their publications, websites, and other projects.

    3.4  Copyright Infringements and Takedown Policy

Consistent with the policy of the Library to respect rights of copyright owners and the public, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that our services are in accordance with copyright law.  Nevertheless, if you believe that your rights have been infringed by the Library, you may contact us by email at: [email protected] Please provide details about the specific use of your work.

    3.5  Implementation of this Policy

This policy is developed and issued through the Office of the Executive Director with the participation of the Director of Digital Content & Engagement and other members of the QNL staff.

The Library cannot give legal advice. Library users should seek independent legal advice for their own needs. Questions about this policy and the role of copyright at the Library may be addressed to:

Director of Digital Content & Engagement
[email protected] 
Tel: +974 4454 8465