2004 Treaties and Presidential Proclamations
U.S. protection of foreign works often is based on the United States’ treaty relationships with other countries. The United States has treaty relationships with all but a handful of countries, as set forth in International Copyright Relations of the United States (Circular 38a). Some of these treaties are multilateral, meaning that there are more than two parties to the treaty, while other treaties are bilateral, meaning that they are between just the United States and one foreign country. It is important to note the date on which a foreign country became a treaty party, because U.S. law will apply only to works either created or first published (depending on which type of eligibility is used) on or after the date that the foreign country became a treaty party. Additionally, for a treaty to confer eligibility, it must apply to the work at issue. For example, an author of a literary work could not rely on the existence of a copyright treaty that protects only satellite broadcasts but not literary works.