The first and primary legislation regulating copyright in Iran dates back nearly 47 years. It is titled the Act for Protection of Authors, Composers and Artists Rights 1970 (hereinafter the Copyright Act 1970). This legislation does not cover the interests of a number of rights holders, such as performers or producers of phonograms. As a result, the Translation and Reproduction of Books, Periodicals and Phonograms Act (hereafter the Translation Act 1973) was later passed to address this issue.
In 2010, Parliament passed the Law Amending Article 12 of the Copyright Act 1970. Previously, the term of protection for the material rights of an author was 30 years after his or her death. The amended article 12 and its Note now extends the term to 50 years after the death of the author, in line with the minimum requirements of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 18863 and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994.
On an international level, Iran has not joined any of the main international copyright agreements. Iran joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2001 but is yet to sign any of the WIPO-administered treaties that form the basis of the international copyright regime. Moreover, Iran is not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and, therefore, has not joined the TRIPS Agreement