Copyright Compendium

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2004.1 Multilateral Treaties

 

2004.1 Multilateral Treaties

 

The United States is a party to a number of multilateral copyright treaties, including the following:

 

• Buenos Aires Convention of 1910: This was an early treaty that provided certain copyright protections for artistic and literary works and was deposited with the government of Argentina on May 1, 1911, and proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson on July 13, 1914.

 

• Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (“Berne Convention”): This treaty provides protection for certain literary and artistic works and has been signed by most countries. The effective date for U.S. adherence to the Berne Convention is March 1, 1989.

 

• Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms, Geneva, 1971: The effective date for the United States is March 10, 1974. Note that only sound recordings are eligible for U.S. copyright protection based on this treaty. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (D).

 

• Universal Copyright Convention, Geneva, 1952: This treaty protected certain literary, artistic, and scientific works. The effective date for the United States is September 16, 1955, the date the treaty entered into force. This treaty was revised, and the United States is a party to the version as revised at Paris in 1971 as of July 10, 1974.

 

• World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Copyright Treaty (“WCT”): The WCT is a special agreement under the Berne Convention that protects Berne Convention-covered works and includes specific language protecting computer programs and compilations of data or other material. The effective date for the United States is March 6, 2002, the date the treaty entered into force.

 

• WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, Geneva, 1996 (“WPPT”): The WPPT covers certain rights for performers and producers of phonograms. The effective date for the United States is May 20, 2002, the date the treaty entered into force. Note that only sound recordings are eligible for U.S. copyright protection based on this treaty. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (D).

 

• The Agreement on Trade

 

•Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) was entered into as part of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), established pursuant to the Marrakesh Agreement of April 15, 1994, which implemented the Uruguay Round Agreements. TRIPS incorporated the Berne Convention in most part, covered copyright and other intellectual property rights, and included provisions relating to enforcement of intellectual property rights. The effective date of United States membership in the WTO is January 1, 1995.

 

• The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (“Marrakesh VIP Treaty”) provides an obligation for member nations to provide copyright limitations and exceptions in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to visually impaired people, and to permit exchange of these works across borders by eligible organizations that serve those beneficiaries. The provisions of this treaty were implemented into U.S. law with the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act on October 10, 2018. U.S. membership in the treaty came into force on May 8, 2019. For more information on the Marrakesh Treaty implementation in U.S. law, see the Copyright Office’s Understanding the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act.

 

For information concerning the other countries that are parties to these treaties and the date upon which a country became a treaty party, see International Copyright Relations of the United States (Circular 38a).