20 Copyright and other publishing responsibilities

20.3 Copyright conventions

Most countries give copyright protection to foreign works under international copyright treaties, such as the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions (see 20.3.1 and 20.3.2). Anomalies exist in the treatment afforded in different countries, however, for example because the qualification requirements and rules on ownership and duration differ.

20.3.1 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

Most industrialized countries are signatories to the Berne Convention, including the UK, the US, and Russia. The Berne Convention does not require registration of copyright and there is no obligation to include a copyright statement or to use the © symbol (although doing so is good practice in any event).

20.3.2 Universal Copyright Convention

To claim copyright protection in signatories to the Universal Copyright Convention, the following formality must be complied with: the symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner, and date of first publication must appear in a prominent place in every copy of the work published with the authority of the copyright owner. There is no requirement to register the copyright. Very few countries are parties to the Universal Copyright Convention and not to the Berne Convention, and so in most of the world, to obtain copyright protection this © wording is not required, although, as said above, its use is good practice in any event.

Having said that there is no requirement to register copyright, in some countries, such as the US and China, it can be advisable to do so to avoid potential enforcement problems.


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