International Copyright

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The idea that an author of a literary work has certain inalienable rights to his work has been an institution found on a national level in many countries for centuries. These rights have taken on different forms depending on the legal tradition of the country where it is applied. In systems with a common law tradition, based on utilitarian ideals, the rights were referred to as copyright. In systems that relied on a civil law tradition, based on philosophical thought and the basic idea of a moral and natural order, the rights became to be known as author’s rights and later expanded to neighboring rights. Although these rights, and the laws that went along with them, developed in many countries around the same time in history international copyright would take substantially longer to develop. International copyright law is an evolution of thought that has emerged after many years of international political communications between the many states of the world. The Statute of Anne, created 1694 in England, was the world’s first copyright act. It was titled “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned” (Goldstein, 5). The act gave anyone the ability to gain copyright through the simple registration of their work and gave legal protection for a term of fourteen years from the date of original publication. This term could be renewed for an additional fourteen years if the author was still alive after the initial term of protection was over (Goldstein, 6). This became the foundation on which later copyright legislation would be built on. Author’s rights developed in France, Germany, and several other states... ... middle of paper ... ...ks Cited Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Marrakesh. 15 April 1994. Print. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works: Paris Act. Paris. 24 July 1971. Print. Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms. World Intellectual Property Organization. 29 Oct 1971. Print. Goldstein, Paul. International Copyright: Principles, Law, and Practice. NewYork: Oxford UP, 2001. Print. International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations. Rome Convention, 1961. Rome. 26 Oct 1961. Print. North American Free Trade Agreement. Part Six, art. 1701-1718.14. 7 Oct 1992. Print. Universal Copyright Convention. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 6 Sept 1952. Print.

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