Copyright Convention and Iran’s Publication Industry

Majid Jafari Aghdam

Copyright and its related rights are essential to human creativity, by giving creators incentives in the form of recognition and fair economic rewards. Under this system of rights, creators are assured that their works can be disseminated without fear of unauthorized copyright or piracy. This is turn helps increase access to and enhances the enjoyment of culture, knowledge and entertainment all over the world. Regarding commitment to international agreements, Iran is one of rare countries that haven’t accepted the membership of no international agreements, like Bern Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Therefore there is no legal obligation to protect the rights of the Iranian authors’ book published outside Iran. So not only Iranian works are not mentioned at international level, but also non-Iranian authors can’t control the translation of their works and its translation or publication happen without their permission. But the most important is that authors are not enough motivated to provide new works. At the current situation, accepting international conventions is beneficial for Iran and commitment to them helps Iran’s cultural growth and leads to scientific, cultural and artistic development. In the case of considering some requirements such as: 1) establishment of authors’, producers’ and artists’ union, 2) establishment of supportive council of authors, 3) determining a general framework and the qualitative level of publication and distribution contracts of literal and art works, 4) organizing the distribution trend of cultural products and 5)establishment of professional bodies for authors, Joining international conventions would be beneficial for the country. In spite of some difficulties such as increase of access fee, joining copyright international system improves Iran’s image at the international level. It also increase Iran’s reputation and enactment and could improve domestic laws, support literal and artistic works, maintain publishers’ rights in and out of the country, foster compilation culture, increase authors motivation and cause profit and financial benefits. Other countries experience in joining copyright system approve that book circulation would increase as well due to presence in global markets and improvement of quality. According the finding of some research great number of Iranian publishers believe that copyright laws in Iran are incomplete and out of date and require urgent improvement. It is not compatible with global laws. They believe also the government and judicial bodies do not properly follow the violators of copyright law. And in most occasion nothing happen in the case of violation copyright law, unless the private complaint personally acts. Ignoring International Convections by Iran’s current copyright weaken the rights of those Persian whose book are published in foreign countries and impedes supportive measures of Iranian books at international level as well as foreign investment, prevents strengthening of the publishing industry and leads to negative view of world’s cultural societies toward Iran’s publishing industry. It also prevents the cooperation of Iranian publishers with foreign publishers at joint projects and causes doubƞulness of foreign publishers for cooperation with Iranians. Increasing repetitive translations and wastes publishers capital as well as quality of translated books are the other result of ignoring copyright system.

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