Reproduction and forgery

As stated in Article 5, Paragraph 1 of the Act on the Central Bank of Iceland, no. 36/2001, “The Central Bank of Iceland has the sole right to issue bank notes and mint and issue coins or other currency which may circulate in place of banknotes or lawful coins.”

The General Penal Code, Act no. 19/1940, includes the following provisions on forgery of money and other crimes related to currency:

“Whosoever forges money with the purpose of circulating it as genuine tender, and whosoever for the same purpose acquires or supplies forged money, shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 12 years.” (Article 150).

“It is a punishable offence to make, import or distribute objects which in features or design closely resemble money or securities which are intended for circulation.” (Article 153)

Use of reproductions of notes for advertising purposes

Comments have sometimes been made on the use of reproductions of notes in advertising, and in some cases the derogatory treatment of them for advertising purposes. The Central Bank has laid down a number of principles concerning acceptable uses of reproductions of notes. The following principles apply to the use of such pictorial material in printed matter: 

  • The Central Bank of Iceland has the exclusive right under law to issue Icelandic banknotes and therefore presents the following guidelines on reproduction of such notes to prevent their being mistaken for real Icelandic banknotes.
  • Reproductions of notes may be used to illustrated printed matter, booklets, advertisements and the like, but all available measures must be taken to ensure that such reproductions are not mistaken for real notes.
  • To prevent conceivable misuse, the Central Bank recommends that reproductions of notes which are used for advertising purposes should be scaled either to no more than half the size or at least twice the size of a real note. Only up to one-third of a note should be shown if it is in actual size.
  • Attention is drawn to the fact that it is prohibited to alter the pictorial matter of Icelandic banknotes and make derogatory reproductions of them, in print or in broadcasting media. This contravenes the reputation of the author of the pictorial material on the banknotes, cf. the provisions of the current Copyright Act.
  • It should be reiterated here that it is a punishable offence under, among other things, Chapter XVI of the General Penal Code to reproduce (forge) money with the purpose of circulating it as genuine tender.
  • If the intention is to publish pictures of banknotes, for example for educational purposes, in a manner that is not in keeping with these guidelines, written permission shall be sought from the Central Bank with a normal period of notice.

These guidelines provide advertisers with many possibilities for using the pictorial material of banknotes in a normal manner.