Intellectual property refers to every and any creation of the mind. That could be an artistic work of literature or music, a symbol or design, a word or phrase or even a newdiscovery or invention.
Under UAE law,the creator of something has absolute rights over it. This means that it cannot be publicly distributed or used without the explicit approval of the owner. Anyone who does use that property without the owner’s permission could face fines from AED 20,000 to AED 50,000, up to two months’ jail, or a combination of both.
In the case of non-profitable organizations (like public libraries where literature is distributed for free) there are limitations to the extent of applying the same intellectual property rights (specifically regarding public service). This does not dissolve all elements however and in the event of a serious breach, the ‘owner’ has the right to file charges.
Any change to intellectual property made without the consent of the owner is illegal and only the owner has the right to determine how his intellectual property is publically distributed or used.
This is an important point to note, even where permission is granted, as altering or changing any element of that intellectual property could have serious legal consequences.