What is the Berne Convention?

Written by Thomas Staveley | June 3, 2024

Intellectual Property

The Berne Convention is a treaty enacted in 1886 so to provide better protections for artists of literary and artistic works throughout the world. It is based on three basic principles and contains a series of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions available to developing countries that want to make use of them. Presently there are over 180 countries who are signatories of this treaty offering reciprocal rights.

The 3 basic principles are:

1. Works created in one of the countries signed up to the treaty must be given the same protection in each of the other countries signed up to the treaty as the latter country grants to the works of its own citizens.

2. Protection afforded by the Berne Convention must not be conditional upon compliance with any formality, and;

3. Protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work.

The Berne Convention offers creatives the opportunity to enforce their rights against third parties on a global scale, which can be imperative in a world where copying and distribution of infringing works can be done at ease due to the internet and social media platforms.

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