Copyright - Laws

Berne Convention

The Berne Convention was conceived with the purpose of protecting literary and artistic works on an international level.  Created in 1886, the copyright laws have gone through many revisions and amendments.  The last revision took place in Paris in 1971 and the most recent amendment in 1979.  Over 140 countries have ratified the Berne Convention.   The Berne Convention addresses when copyright is available, the legal protection provided under the copyright laws, and the protection available to developing countries.  The Berne convention is the major international copyright law accepted in the world. 

Further Information Regarding the Berne Convention

Association of  Research Libraries (Copyright Section)

DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The DMCA was created to bring the United States copyright laws into the Digital Age.  It planned to accomplish this by addressing three major issues.  First, it implemented WIPO treaties to bring United States copyright laws up to date and to set an example for other countries.  Second, it discussed the infringement liability with regard to internet copyright.  Third, it addresses a computer owner’s right to have maintenance or repairs performed on his or her machine. 

The full text of the DMCA are available for further reading.

Further Information Regarding the DMCA

United States Title 17

The United States copyright laws have undergone many revisions over time.  Their purpose is to protect “original works of authorship” that have been created.  The copyright law defines "Created" as “fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time.”  When a work has been published for the first time, a notice of copyright is no longer required to the Copyright office.  The copyright of a work can be displayed by the author by using the copyright symbol ©, the date of the first publication, and the name of the author.  For all works created after January 1, 1978 copyright lasts for seventy years following the author’s death.  In order to prove that a work is truly theirs, an author may register their work with the copyright office.  In some cases, U.S. copyright laws also require that two copies of a work must be provided to the Copyright office within three months of publication (Library of Congress, 2002). 

For further explanation of United States Copyright laws
Library of Congress

For more web references See the Links section


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