Iran’s Minister of Communications and Technology has recently stated that the copyright law in the country should be revised. A new bill on copyright will soon be presented to the Iranian parliament according to Iran’s ICT Minister.
The absence of copyright laws in Iran has become a major issue for Iranian software developers in the recent years. Although the country has a local copyright law —which many believe is outdated and needs to be reformed— Iranian app makers are still facing issues with the black market and copycats.
According to Mohammad Javad Azaari Jahromi, Iran’s newly appointed ICT Minister, the country’s copyright and intellectual property laws are outdated and need to be revised. These laws date back to almost 50 years ago with some changes made throughout the years. “This law doesn’t cover the current needs to support the businesses,” said Azari Jahromi when talking about the copyright issues in Iran. “We have set up a bill which after passing the process, will be presented to the Parliament,” he added. Jahromi mentioned that the work on the new copyright law has begun and the Ministry of Communications is working closely with the Research Center of the Parliament and the relevant organizations.
Copyright infringements have become a major issue for Iranian companies targeting the international market. “Unless the copyright issue is not resolved, we won’t be able to reach the necessary and desirable growth,” Jahromi stated. Iran’s ICT Minister added that Iran was not a producer of content and software before, but today this has changed.
Until now, Iran has not joined any international agreements on copyright for foreign software, books or movies. For foreigners visiting Iran it may be shocking to see the latest pirated copies of video games or Hollywood movies being sold on the corner of streets for prices as low as $1. But Iranians have been used to buying pirated software for years and the government is now seeing how this issue is actually hurting its own domestic market.
In the past decade, Iran’s computer software industry did not improve as much as its mobile app industry due to copyright infringements. Today, thanks to local app markets in the country, Iranian developers are able to sell their apps and prevent piracy by selling additional features using in-app purchase.
Experts believe that Iran should sooner or later agree to the international copyright law. If this legislation gets passed, the country would reach a step closer to the global standards in intellectual property laws.