Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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808.10(J) (2) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)


808.10(J) (2) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)


In 1993, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico was implemented. Under NAFTA, the United States agreed to restore copyrights in certain motion pictures which entered the public domain in the United States because they were published without a copyright notice in Mexico and Canada on or after January 1, 1978 and before March 1, 1989. See North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (NAFTA ACT), Pub. L. No. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057 (1993). To benefit from this agreement, a copyright owner had to file a notice of intent to enforce the restored copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office between January 1, 1994 and January 1, 1995. The notice was then published by the U.S. Copyright Office in the Federal Register. Restoration was effective on January 1, 1995. A list of motion pictures restored under NAFTA was posted in the Federal Register, and on the Office’s website.


See Copyright Restoration of Certain Motion Pictures in Accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement: List of Titles for Which Statements of Intent to Restore Copyright Were Received, 60 Fed. Reg. 8252 (Feb. 13, 1995).


Although the period for filing these notices has expired, copyright owners who filed such notices may continue to file applications to register these restored works. If a notice of intent to enforce the restored copyright was not filed in a timely manner, the work may have been restored effective January 1, 1996 under the URAA/GATT provisions of the copyright law. See Chapter 2000, Section 2007.


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