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How To Copyright A Song In Ghana


What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator (e.g. a musician) to receive compensation for their intellectual effort.

When are copyrights created?

Musical and Artistic works cannot be copyrighted unless the work has been written down, recorded or otherwise reduced to material form.

For compositions, the copyright is automatically created when music or lyrics are recorded, put on paper, or otherwise written down in a document

For master recordings, the copyright is created as soon as “a sound recording is fixed, meaning that the sounds must be captured in a medium. This may be “in a digital track, disk, tape, or other formats”.

Which law governs copyrights in Ghana?

The Copyright Act 2005, (Act 690)

Which institution is tasked with registration of copyright in Ghana?

The Copyright Office of Ghana, statutorily established by Copyright Law, PNDC Law

110 of 1985 and saved under the current Copyright Act, 2005, Act 690.

Location – Adjacent to the Teacher’s Hall, University of Ghana Accra City Campus Area.

Address – Copyright Office, Private Mailbag, Ministries Post Office, Accra – Ghana.

Open hours – 8:30am to 5:00pm

How does one register a copyright?

Step 1: Submit two (2) copies of the work to the office

Step 2: Pay prescribed fee

Step 3: Complete registration forms (forms are typed and applicants take a copy home)

Step 4: Certificate of registration will be issued within 30days

Note: Applicants are required to come along with a valid ID card (e.g. National ID, Passport, Voter ID or DVLA Licence).

How much does copyrighting a song cost?

Copyright registration fees are moderate and they are paid once! An applicant does not need to pay any renewal fees.

The fees are as follows:

Description/Type of Work

Fee (GH¢)

Sale of Registration Form


Musical work/sound recording




Audiovisual (Films Music Videos, etc)


Settlement of Dispute


Request for Search


Request for Amendment of Particulars


Request for Certified True Copy


**Fees are subject to change.

What is the duration of Copyright?

If authored by a single individual, copyright protection lasts during the life of the author (or rightsholder) plus 70years after death of the author.

If jointly authored by two or more individuals, copyright protection lasts 70years after the death of the last surviving author.



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