International Copyright

What about copyright outside of the United States? There is no "International Copyright" per se; however, the Berne Convention and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade treaty (GATT treaty) allow authors to enforce their copyrights in signatory countries which include most industrialized nations. Some foreign countries still require the phrase "All Rights Reserved" but it is not necessary in the US or signatories of the Berne Convention.

Circular 38a from the Library of Congress Copyright Office will provide more information on International Copyright Relations of the United States as will the International Copyright Fact Sheet and World Intellectual Property Organization Diplomatic Conference (WIPO) Geneva.

For additional help in your understanding of Copyright terms and conditions for works published and unpublished outside of the United States see the Public Domain Chart published by Cornell Copyright Information Center.

International Treaties & Conventions

  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Collection of Laws for the Electronic Access of Works From the World Intellectual Property Organization, electronic archive of international intellectual property legislation.
  • Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms (1971)
  • International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
  • GATT 1994 (including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (1996)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty (1996)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization Basic Proposal for Substantive Provisions of the Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect to Databases and H.R. 3531 (Information and Antipiracy Act)
  • Universal Copyright Convention