Copyright Laws & Treaties

There is no such thing as an “international copyright” that will automatically protect an author’s writings throughout the world. Protection against unauthorised use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country. However, most countries offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions that have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions. There are two principal international copyright conventions, the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) This link is to an outside source.

Copyright law provides protection for literary and artistic works, giving authors the ability to control the exploitation of their works. The law of related rights provides similar protection for the creative contributions of those involved in presenting works to the public, such as performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters.

These rights are provided by national laws in individual countries. International treaties serve to forge links among different national laws, ensuring that creators are also protected in another country than their own. The treaties do not overrule national law, but require the countries that join them to grant some specified minimum rights, and to do so on a non-discriminatory basis.

These links below are primarily concerned with the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works however, they do include all aspects relating to copyright.

The acceptance and implementation of these treaties and conventions is almost universal as more and more countries add their names to the list of signatories.

Some of these links are to outside sources.


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The information contained within this site is offered as a consideration to visitors and at no time should the information be construed as legal advice; for all legal matters, we encourage our clients to seek the assistance of an attorney. The Copyright Office is not responsible for policing, or checking on registered works and their use, and cannot guarantee that the legitimacy of ownership or originality in a work registered by Songrite will never be questioned.


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