Sociology Index

Polish Copyright Law

IPR Intellectual Property Rights

Polish copyright law complies with legislation in European Union.

According to the Art.3 of copyright law of March 29, 1926 (valid until 1952) and Art. 2 of copyright law of July 10, 1952 of the People's Republic of Poland, all photographs by Polish photographers (or published for the first time in Poland or simultaneously in Poland and abroad) printed without a clear copyright notice before the law was changed on May 23, 1994 are in public domain. Status of those photographs did not change after Polish Copyright Law of February 4, 1994 was enacted.

According to the Polish Copyright Law of February 4, 1994 (Article 4, case 2) "governmental symbols, documents, materials and signs are not subject to copyrights".

According to the Art.21 of copyright law of March 29, 1926 (valid until 1952) photographs loose copyright protection ten years after picture was taken.

Series of scientific or artistic pictures loose copyright protection after 50 years. According to Art. 27 of copyright law of July 10, 1952 (valid until May 23, 1994) photographs and series of photographs loose copyright protection ten years after publication date.

However, retroactive Polish Copyright Law of February 4, 1994 Art. 124, put all those images back under copyright protection, for 70 years since the death of the author.

The copyright act from February 4, 1994 in article 33 point 1 allows to propagate works that are permanently exhibited on the publicly accessible roads, streets, squares or gardens provided that the propagation is not for the same use.

The name of the creator and source should be provided if it is possible by article 34. This use is royalty free, provided that it does not harm the legitimate interests of the creator by article 34.