Copyright laws are governed in Pakistan by the Copyright Ordinance 1962 and Rules framed thereunder are known as Copyright Rules 1967. Some very important amendments were made in these laws through Copyright (Amendment) Act 1992 and the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2000. The Headquarter of Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is located in Islamabad. However, the Pakistan Copyright Office is situated in Karachi where the Registrar of Copyright carries out all the necessary work.

Official registration of Copyright work is readily enforceable in courts of law and is prima facie evidence that copyright subsists in the work or that the registrant is the owner thereof. It is for the reason that registration of copyright in Pakistan is recommended.
Copyright applications can be submitted at the Copyright Office, Karachi or at any of the regional offices of IPO. The application should be accompanied with the details of necessary particulars, a duly executed power of attorney and the prescribed application fee.

The applicant is also required to advertise the work in a newspaper within a month (or within such extended time as determined by the Registrar) of the filing of the application two copies which are required to be sent to the Registrar. The work sought to be registered along with the provided particulars are entered in the Register of Copyrights and a certificate of registration is issued if no objection to the registration of work and particulars is received by the Registrar within one month (or within the extended time not exceeding two months) of the advertisement. However, the Registrar may also require an affidavit from the artist or author stating that he has no objection if the copyright is granted to the applicant.

Work protected

Following types of work are protected under the Ordinance:

• Original literary works including computer programmes

• Original dramatic works

• Original musical works

• Original artistic works including drawings, maps, photographs and architectural works, cinematographic works; and

• Original records. An amendment was made in 1992 in the definition of “literary work” to extend coverage to computer programmes.

International Conventions:

• Berne Convention, 1886 for The Protection of Library and Artistic work;

• Universal Copyright Convention, 1952;

• WTO, 1995;

• WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), 1996; and

• WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), 1996;

Pakistan’s membership of Berne Convention, 1886 for The Protection of Library and Artistic work and the Universal Copyright Convention, the copyright subsisting in any work in any other member country is protected in Pakistan. However, to enforce the rights in Pakistan, entitlement of the work would be required to proven in most cases.


The following information is required at the time of filing a copyright application.

• Name, address and nationality of the applicant.

• Nature of the applicant’s interest in the copyright of the work (e.g. author, publisher, owner, etc.)

• Class and description of the work (e.g. literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, etc.)

• Title of the work

• Language of the work (if any)

• Name, address and nationality of the author OR the date of death of a deceased author

• Whether work is published or unpublished

• Year and country of first publication and name, address and nationality of the publisher

• Names, addresses and nationalities of the owners of the various rights comprising the copyright in the work and the scope of rights held by each, togetherwith particulars of assignment and licenses, if any

• Names, addresses and nationalities of the other persons, if any, authorised to assign or license the rights comprising the copyright

• If the work is an artistic work, the location of the original work, including name, address and nationality of the person in possession of the work (in thecase of an architectural work the year of completion of the work should also be mentioned)

(1) In case of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works:

a. If the work to be registered, whether the work is original

b. A translation of a work in the public domain

c. A translation of a work in which copyright subsists

d. An adaptation of a work in public domain

e. An adaptation of a work in which copyright subsists;

(2) If the work is a translation or adaptation of a work in which copyright subsists:  

a. Title of the original work

b. language of the original work

c. Name, address and nationality of the author of this original work and if the author is dead, the date of his death

d. Name, address and nationality of the publisher, if any, of the work

e. Particulars of the authorization for a translation or adaptation including the name, address and nationality of the party authorising.

Term of Copyright

• For published literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph), the life of the author and 50 years after his death.

• For cinematographic work, record and a photograph, 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year from publication of the work.


Following three types of remedies against the infringement are available to the copyright holder which can be availed of simultaneously:


Injunctions, damages, accounts, surrender of infringing copies and damages for conversion (conditions applied)


Imprisonment of the accused or fine or both, seizure of infringing copies, and surrender of infringing copies to the owner of the copyright. Remedies against offences by companies include person responsible and company both deemed guilty and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly – conditions applied); and


Ban or detain the consignment of infringing copies intended to be imported into or exported out of Pakistan and detention of any suspected infringing copies of any work which is the subject of copyright.

For further enquiries or questions, please write to us at:

Patents, Trade Marks, Industrial Deigns & Copyrights Attorneys

Suite # 11/A–1, 3rd Floor,Habib Blessings, Waseem Bagh, Block 13/D-2, Gulshan e Iqbal, Karachi-75300,Pakistan

+92 21 3483 7452

+92 300 925 8757, +92 323 215 5744

About Us

MARKS & PAT is a Pakistan based legal firm having principal office at Karachi, Pakistan. Our expertise includes protecting your intellectual capital in accordance with the rule of law.