Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work, first established in Berne Switzerland, 1886, is an international agreement between parties of the convention about copyright that provides an equalized system where artworks will be evaluated and given same protection term abroad or at home. The United States adopts the convention in 1989, with adoption of “Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988." Article 2 of the convention focuses on setting lines to define “protected works.” Section 1 of the article defines types of works, both literary and artistic that can be protected under copyright. In regard to two dimensional art, the convention states, “cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography; photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches” are types of art to be protected under copyright. With just the adoption of section 1, just about everything created in shape of the above can be protected. Sections 2 and 4 gives ultimate power to the legislatives of each country to determine types of work to be protected and the translation of the guideline set in the convention. Section 3 goes on to say appropriated works will be “protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work,” and section 5, along the similar line, goes to declare that collection of intellectual or artistic works can be protected under copyright since its arrangement and selection requires artistic and intellectual genius. Section 7 further points to the power of each state to design and model their own copyright law in regards to applied and industrial art. In section 8, it declares news and press release are reported facts and do not qualify for copyright protection.
The convention is very important to the topic because it demonstrates a way of setting legislative standard to subjects of copyright with minimal use of aesthetic qualifications. Even thought it attempted to equalize the law in international scale, it was written broadly to allow interpretations by the each state—to set their own standards and qualifications in regard to protected works. While United States court relied on judging protection of two-dimensional artwork based on evaluating the work on aesthetic qualities, the Berne convention defines types of protected work without using words such as “original” and “minimum creativity.” By laying out technical and physical basis to judging protected work, it creates little confusion to society in defining what art is. But at the same time, the danger of such technical term is that its scope allow to many works to be protected, therefore possibly devaluing the worth of “art” in the society. Berne points out to the fact that perhaps aesthetic decisions are necessary to promote progress of art.