ORIGINALITY IN COPYRIGHT AND THE JUDICIAL JURISPRUDENCE IN ETHIOPIA LLM THESIS BY TEKLEHAYMANOT DAGNE BELAY
A THESIS PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT OF MASTERS DEGREE IN BUSINESS LAW (LLM)
ORIGINALITY IN COPYRIGHT AND THE JUDICIAL JURISPRUDENCE IN ETHIOPIA LLM THESIS BY TEKLEHAYMANOT DAGNE BELAY A THESIS PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT OF MASTERS DEGREE IN BUSINESS LAW (LLM) TEKLEHAYMANOT DAGNE BELAY JUNE 2018
Intellectual property law is part of the law that protects intellectual creations of the human mind.
As such, creations assume the central part in the study of the law. Copyright, being one of the
property rights in creations requires that any work to be protected should be original. The
originality obligation is nothing but the mechanism through which the law ascertains the
existence or otherwise of creation. Albeit there seems to be no commonly applicable standard of
it, the requirement of originality in a work for protection is almost universally recognized.
Defining originality assumes greater importance in copyright law mainly because it determines
which works get protection and which wouldn’t. By the same parlance, the threshold of
originality directly impacts the nature and types of works that get copyright protection. To this
end, different jurisdictions describe the requirement based on their unique understanding of the
concept and due regard to the purpose of copyright.
By virtue of the Ethiopian copyright and neighboring right protection proclamation, only original
works in the fields of literature, art and culture are protected without defining what constitutes
In an attempt to shed light on the originality jurisprudence, first the paper tries to point out the
origin, meaning and purpose of the originality requirement as applied in the context of copyright.
After survey of foreign jurisprudence in the common law and civil law legal system, national
laws will be assessed to understand the requirement applicable in Ethiopia. The main part of the
paper focuses on the interpretation of the originality requirement by Federal courts of Ethiopia.
Finally, based on the assessment valuable recommendations will be forwarded.