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4.2) Is Freedonia a signatory to either the Berne Convention or to the Universal Copyright Convention?




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This article is from the Copyright Law FAQ, by Terry Carroll with numerous contributions by others.

4.2) Is Freedonia a signatory to either the Berne Convention or to the Universal Copyright Convention?

The answer in section 4.1 is generally almost always followed by a query
as to whether a specific country has signed one or more of the
conventions, so the following lists provide that information.

This data comes from the January 1992 edition (the most current) of
Treaties In Force, with some supplemental information as noted. Each
list indicates only that the nations listed have signed the convention.
It does not indicate whether a particular nation has also signed one or
more of the optional protocols associated with the convention. For
example, Protocol 1 of the U.C.C. establishes that stateless persons are
to be considered nationals of the nation within which they reside for
purposes of the convention; a number of nations have signed the U.C.C.,
but have not signed that protocol. If you really want to get down to
that level of detail, consult a current edition of Treaties In Force.

If you're interested in knowing more detail about what copyright treaties
are in effect between the U.S. and a particular nation, there is a table
in the back of Treaties In Force containing an alphabetical list of
countries, listing the copyright treaties (both unilateral and
multilateral) to which it is a party with the U.S., including the dates
on which each treaty entered into force. This table is also reproduced
in the Copyright Office's Circular 38a, "International Copyright
Relations of the United States," contains You can order it from the
Copyright Office (see section 5.1). This circular is also included in
Copyright Office information kit 100. A similar table is included as an
appendix in the Nimmer treatise (see section 5.1).

Note that, while the U.S.S.R. is listed as a signatory to the 1952 Geneva
text of the U.C.C., the status of the former soviet states is unclear at
this time. I've been told that Russia and some of the other newly
independent states have announced that they will honor nearly all of the
treaties of the former Soviet Union. Other states, for example, Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania, take the position that they were never legally
part of the Soviet Union, and that treaties entered into by the Soviet
Union are totally irrelevant to their international obligations.

In addition, I've been cited to an article entitled "Post-Soviet Law: The
Case of Intellectual Property Law," by Peter Maggs (an attorney and
professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) in the Harriman
Institute Forum, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Nov. 1991), pp. 3-9. Professor Maggs
reportedly concludes that, under international law, all newly independent
states that were previously legitimate parts of the USSR (i.e., all
except Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), remain bound by the UCC, although
whether they actually have functional copyright protection is another
matter altogether.

Thank you to <marlen@sovam.com> for contacting Professor Maggs and
providing me with most of the information in the preceding two
paragraphs.

In addition, in May 1993, the TASS news agency reported that Russia has
enacted a new copyright law that is Berne-compliant, in preparation for
an anticipated signing of the Berne Convention.

The following nations are signatories to the Berne Convention (1971 Paris
text): Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium,
Benin (formerly Dahomey), Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper
Volta), Cameroon, Canada, the Central African Republic, Chad, Chile,
Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cyprus,
Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon,
Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Holy See (Vatican City), Honduras,
Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lesotho,
Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar (Malagasy
Republic), Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Pakistan,
Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, South
Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Suriname, Sweden,
Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, the
United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zaire,
and Zimbabwe. According to U.S. State Department Dispatches published
since January 1992, additional nations to sign Berne include Gambia (Dec.
12, 1992), China (July 10, 1992) and Kenya (March 11, 1993).

The following nations are signatories to the Universal Copyright
Convention (1971 Paris text): Algeria, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Grenada, Guinea, Hungary, Italy,
Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway,
Panama, Poland, Portugal, St. Lucia, St, Vincent and the Grenadines,
Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Sweden, Trinidad
and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vatican City, and
Yugoslavia.

The following nations are signatories to the Universal Copyright
Convention (1952 Geneva text): Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia,
Austria, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece,
Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland,
India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Lebanon,
Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico,
Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria,
Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, St. Lucia,
St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka
(formerly Ceylon), Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the Union of the Soviet
Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela,
Yugoslavia, and Zambia.

 

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