According to a publication of the U.S. Copyright Office, as of January, 2003 the following countries are signatories to the Berne Convention: * Albania March 6, 1994 * Algeria April 19, 1998 * Antigua and Barbuda March 17, 2000 * Argentina June 10, 1967 * Armenia October 19, 2000 * Australia April 14, 1928 * Austria October 1, 1920 * Azerbaijan June 4, 1999 * The Bahamas10, 1973 * Bolivia November 4, 1993 * Brazil February 9, 1922 * Chile June 5, 1970 * Colombia March 7, 1988 * Costa Rica June 10, 1978 * Dominican Republic December 24, 1997 * Ecuador October 9, 1991 * Guatemala July 28, 1997 * Haiti January 11, 1996 * Honduras January 25, 1990 * Mexico June 11, 1967 * Nicaragua August 23, 2000 * Panama June 8, 1996 * Paraguay January 2, 1992 * Peru August 20, 1988 * South Africa October 3, 1928 * Uruguay July 10, 1967 * United States March 1, 1989 Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, C
All members of the World Trade Organization are required to have copyright laws based on the Berne Convention, and to recognize the rights of creators of other member states. There are a few countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia that aren't members of the WTO or signatories to Berne, but the majority of the world does have laws written to protect intellectual property. That being said, not all countries are equally fastidious about enforcing IP laws.
All members of the World Trade Organization are required to acknowledge minimum protection specified in the Berne Convention. The key points of Berne are that protection is automatic (registration is not required), and protection on most works lasts for the life of the creator plus 50 years at a minimum (the US and some others have extended this to life plus 70 years). More information on the Berne Convention is at the link below.
A little, but members of the World Trade Organization have to comply with the rules of the Berne Convention, which means they're all using the same basic framework. Berne requires protection for a minimum of the life of the author plus 50 years, but some countries (such as the US) have increased this to 70 years. Berne also asserts that materials must be protected as soon as they are fixed, but some counties (again, such as the US) have optional formal registration that allows for certain additional awards in court.
Most countries' laws are very similar, based on the Berne Convention. The US and several others have extended protection from life + 50 years to life + 70 years for works of a single creator, and some countries have optional formal registration in addition to the automatic protection demanded by Berne.That being said, not all countries are equally conscientious about enforcing their IP laws.
All members of the World Trade Organization are required to abide by the TRIPS agreements (Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights), which in turn require members to adhere to articles 1-21 of the Berne Convention. A link to the most recent list of WTO members is below. That being said, not all countries have the same reputation for upholding the law; you will see that China has been a member of the WTO for ten years, yet its enforcement of IP laws is notoriously lax.
Internationally, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Through the World Trade Organization, 153 countries adhere to Berne, GATT, and TRIPS. However, each nation's interpretation is expressed in a federal law as well.
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