DPRK IP Law on Software

KoryoPAT-Rainbow Patent and Trademark Agency:

Chapter 1. Fundamentals 
Article 1.  The Law of the DPRK on the Protection of Computer Software shall contribute to the protection of the right of copyright holders and the development of software technology by establishing strict system and order in the registration and use of software.
Article 2. Registration of software is the prime process in the protection of software. The state sees to it that the objects to be protected be decided properly and scientific accuracy, objectivity, timeliness be ensured in its registration.

Article 3.  The state sees to it that the development of software is encouraged and the moral and economic rights of software copyright holders are protected.

Article 4.  The copyright of a software that has been developed by a foreign legal person or an individual and registered first in the DPRK shall be protected by this law.

Article 5.  The state shall direct a deep attention to the work of software protection and increase its investment in the sector of software protection.

Article 6.  The treaties concluded by the DPRK for software protection shall have the same effect as this law.

Article 7.  The state shall develop exchange and cooperation with international organizations and other countries in the field of software protection.
Chapter 2. Registration of Computer Software 
Article 8.  It is an important requirement for software protection to have softwares registered in a proper way. Softwares shall be registered by the software registration organ.

Article 9.  The institutions, enterprises, organizations or citizens that want to have their software protected shall submit to the software registration organ a written application for registration. The written application for registration shall elucidate the name of the software, the name, nationality and address of the applicant, the date of application and be attached to by the medium containing the software, its outline and specification, etc.

Article 10.  The software registration organ shall deliberate and approve or reject the registration of the software within three months from the date of its acceptance of the application. In this case the software shall be debugged.

Article 11.  The deliberation of software registration shall be done in the way of ascertaining the software developer and confirming whether there is anything identical or similar to the software already registered. The deliberation of an adapted software for registration shall be done by means of inquring whether the right of the original author has not been infringed upon.

Article 12.  The software registration organ may require the data needed for deliberation from the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or citizen. The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens should offer in time the data required by the software registration organ.

Article 13.  The software registration organ shall issue a copyright certificate in case it approves the registration. In case softwarte registration is rejected, a notice clarifying the reason of rejection shall be sent to the applicant.

Article 14.  A registered software shall be made public through the official bulletin. A registered software may not be made public subject to the request of the state or the copyright holder.

Article 15.  The institution, enterprise, organization or citizen that has any opinion against software registration may lodge it with the software registration organ within six months from the date when the registration is made public. The software registration organ shall settle the opinion within two months from the date when the opinion is received.

Article 16.  The software registration organ shall store in a designated storage the medium containing the software as well as the written application for registration of software. The storage should be equipped with the facilities needed for preventing damages and destruction of software.

Article 17.  The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens should register the software they have brought in from abroad in the software registration organ. A software from a foreign country may not be used if it is not registered.

Article 18.  The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens may inspect the software registry at the software registration organ. In this case they shall pay designated charges.

Chapter 3. Copyright of Computer Software 
Article 19.  The institution, enterprise, organization or citizen that has developed a software shall be entitled to be a software copyright holder. The institution, enterprise, organization or citizen that has been transferred a software copyright may also be a copyright holder.

Article 20.  The moral rights of a software copyright holder shall include;  The right to make public a software, The right to attach the name of the developer to the software,
The right to forbid any alteration of the name of the developer or the name, content, etc. of the software.
 
Article 21.  The moral rights of a software copyright holder shall be possessed by the software developer. The moral rights of a copyright holder may not be transferred.

Article 22. The economic rights of a software copyright holder shall include;  The right to copy, exhibit and circulate the software, The right to adapt the software, The right to permit the use of the software and to receive relevant charges, The right to transfer a part or the whole of the software economic rights, The right to claim indemnity for the damage caused by infringement upon the software copyright.
 
Article 23.  The transferred economic right of a software under a contract should be registered in the software registration organ. The registration should be done within seven days from the date of transferrence.

Article 24.  The copyright of a software developed in the name of an institution, enterprise or organization shall be granted to the institution, enterprise or organization concerned. The copyright of a software devoloped in the name of an individual shall be granted to the individual concerned. The copyright of a software developed by a group of people shall be owned jointly. In this case the exercise of the right shall be subject to the agreement of the developers.

Article 25.  The copyright of a software developed on consignment shall be owned according to the contract concluded among the parties. The written contract shall accurately clarify the ownership and exercise of the copyright.

Article 26.  A software copyright may be owned by a minor as well. The copyright of a minor shall be exercised through the parents or guardian.

Article 27.  If a software copyright holder has no heir or is dead without leaving a will to present his copyright to anyone else or if there is no institution, enterprise or organization to inherit the copyright, the economic rights of the software concerned shall be owned by the state.

Chapter 4. Protection of Computer Software Copyright 
Article 28.  It is incumbent upon institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens to protect software copyrights. Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens should not infringe upon software copyrights.

Article 29. The term of protecting the moral rights of software copyright holder shall be indefinite and the term of protecting the economic rights shall be 30 years. In case of need, the term of protecting the economic rights may be prolonged for up to 20 years.

Article 30.  The term of protecting the economic rights of a software copyright holder shall be until December 31 of the 30th year from the day when the software is registered. The term of protecting the economic rights of a transferred software copyright shall be the remaining period from the day when the transfer is registered.

Article 31.  Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens may use a registered software subject to the permission of the copyright holder. The use of a software shall be within the range of permission.

Article 32.  The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that use a software should pay the designated charges. Charges shall be designated by the price assessment organ.

Article 33.  Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens may use the patented literary and artistic works for developing or adapting a software. In this case they should get the permission of the copyright holder.

Article 34.  Without the permission of the copyright holder, one may not do the following;  The acts of using, copying, exhibiting, distributing, adapting, translating, selling or telecasting a software, The acts of altering the name of a software developer or a software, The acts of exporting or importing a software, The acts of destroying or removing protection devices of software technology and offering such technology.
 
Article 35.  One may copy and use a software without the permission of the copyright holder in the following cases;  When a software is used for educational purpose in educational institutions, When a software is used for investigation of a case by a law enforcement organ, When the software has been distributed free of charge.
 
Chapter 5. Guidance and Control of Computer Software Protection 
Article 36.  It is the basic guarantee for the correct implementation of the State policy of software protection to strengthen the guidance and control of the work for software protection. The State shall intensify the guidance and control of the work for software protection.

Article 37.  Guidance of software protection shall be undertaken by the central software industrial guidance organ. The central software industrial guidance organ shall establish a proper system for software protection and regularly grasp and guide the work of registering, storing and protecting software.

Article 38.  The central software industrial guidance organ may set up its agencies in the fields necessary for registering and protecting software. The agency should consist of qualified personnel.

Article 39.  Supervision and control over software protection shall be undertaken by the central software industrial guidance organ and the supervisory and control organs concerned. The central software industrial guidance organ and the supervisory and control organs concerned should strictly supervise and control such acts as infringement upon copyrights, production, copy and circulation of computer virus as well as a software containing the content counter to the good national manners and customs, destruction or illegal inspection of a software through computer networks.

Article 40.  In case of any infringement upon software copyright, the damage shall be compensated and the money illegally gained and the software used confiscated.

Article 41.  An official of an institution, enterprise or organization, or an individual citizen who is responsible for serious consequences related with software protection by his/her violation of this law shall be liable to administrative or criminal penalty according to gravity.

Article 42.  A dispute arising in relation to software protection shall be settled by negotiation. In case it is not settled by negotiation, the dispute may be brought to arbitration or to a court for settlement.

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