This business week article written at the time when the United States joined the Berne Convention for international copyright protection summarizes changes the US took to join the member states. The United States resisted joining the convention for over 100 years, however in the 1980s, trends of globalization and advances in technology made the convention much more necessary to international commerce.
Starting in 1983, the Congress of the United States began enacting laws designed to protect intellectual property in attempts to move towards the criteria of the Berne Convention of 1886. Efforts to join the convention came out of a recent desire to join the states in hopes of further protecting US intellectual property internationally.
As the article states, the 14 laws that Congress enacted from 1983 to 1988 greatly increased the number of lawsuits claiming copyright infringement by sixty percent. Many feel that this is quite out of hand and that the “pendulum may swing too far.” The author of the article claims that up until 1980, copyright infringers had the upper hand whereas these laws passed to meet the criteria of the Berne Convention give copyright holders extreme power.
Nearly two decades after this was written, we see that projections were accurate in that copyright infringement suites are at an all time high, however we also see many positive features of the 1980s legislation as well. International copyright protection is being enforced at an increasingly sufficient level and the advancement of US intellectual property has not been visibly hindered.
With regard to my thesis, this work shows how Congress enacted laws to approach the world community with regard to copyright. With greater restrictions, all US companies had to observe applicable copyright law. However, these laws also set a guideline for what could and what could not be legally done. Since these laws have been enacted, we have seen an increase in the globalization of Hollywood and an expansion of foreign markets distribution, foreign investment in US films, and foreign remakes produced by Hollywood all for the benefit of both the US and global community.
tagged Berne_Convention Copyright United_States_Copyright_Law by mangano ...on 28-NOV-06
The Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works;Berne, Switzerland, September 9, 1886.The Berne Convention first met in Switzerland in 1886. The latest version of this convention was amended on September 28th, 1979.
The treaty contains 38 articles defining protection and rights for forms of intellectual property. The protection applies for nationals of member nations for all works published or unpublished. All forms of media are taken into consideration with specific attention to audiovisual works and rules for establishing a country of origin.
The Convention itself is an attempt to standardize rights of authorship and intellectual property among nations in the world. With 183 current member nations, the agreement has been mostly successful in protecting major rights of those creating intellectual property. Developing nations however, have exhibited difficulties in enforcing copyright laws as piracy runs rampant. The Berne Union itself acts as a strong entity and through global summits and conventions, work to protect intellectual property through legislation.
The Berne Convention laid the groundwork for today’s World Intellectual Property Organization and works with the WTO to enforce the agreement. Today, the WIPO administers 24 treaties in conjunction with other organizations for the international protection of intellectual property.
The specifics of the Berne Convention describe policies and definitions for legal use of works in the international realm. The Berne Union allows for international business and trade, but most important are the interactions that entrepreneurs exhibit because of the treaties. With clearly defined agreements, authors of new works know what and how works are protected outside their homeland.
My thesis pertains to Hollywood and the Berne Convention. Because of this union, the globalization and expansion of the movie industry has exploded. From increased distribution to stronger international partnerships, the Berne Convention allows for a better understanding of intellectual property practices in the global environment.
Pub. L. No. 100-568, 102 Stat. 2853
Title 17 defines copyright law in the United States in thirteen chapters. The foundation of title 17 comes from the Copyright Act of 1976 but has been heavily updated since then.
Application to international law is addressed in the appendixes of the title, with the focus of Appendixes II through VI dealing with the Berne Convention of 1886 and the Uruguay Round Agreements, or the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade annexed to the WTO Agreement. There are two agreements which title 17 references, one in 1947 and another in 1994.
The appendixes of title 17 define the United State’s adherence to the Berne Convention and subsequent GATT treaties. Appendix II states that the acceptance of the Berne Convention by the United States does not take precedence over US law and that any provisions to the convention cannot expand or reduce any rights US authors currently have. Simply put, Appendix II states a voluntary adherence to the Berne Convention in its current state while maintaining the strength of US law over the treaty.
It is important to note that while the United States respects the treaty in all member nations, respects and defines “Berne Convention Work,” it maintains current US law in practice before the specifics of the convention. This is important with regard to US Fair Use policy. The United States is almost unique in it’s definition of fair use, which title 17 upholds while still participating in the Berne Convention. Title 17 clearly states that US law takes priority over international treaties, which is good for US authors so they can continue current practices of work creation.
This applies to my thesis through the voluntary adherence of the United States to the Berne Convention. The US realizes the need for standards of trades and practices in the global community and does not abandon its history and heritage of case law. Currently one of the major exporters of intellectual property, the United States maintains a high degree of protection for its domestic works. The film industry is therefore able to expand current practices into the global economy due to the United State’s participation in the Berne Convention.