International Copyright Law

Each nation has its unique copyright laws that govern the use of information created outside of that nation's borders by its citizens. Artists, content owners, and citizens of numerous countries are all afforded copyright protection by it. Information about Indian copyright protection, international copyright applications, and information on international copyright treaties are all discussed in this article.

What is Copyright?

The legal term "copyright" (sometimes known as "author's right") is used to refer to the ownership rights that authors and other artists have over their creative works. The types of works protected by copyright include computer programs, databases, ads, maps, and technical drawings, in addition to books, music, paintings, sculptures, and films.

What is International Copyright?

A term known as "international copyright" safeguards a writer's work all over the world. Depending on the national laws of a particular nation, protection is provided against unauthorized use in that nation. Nonetheless, many nations provide protection to foreign works under specific guidelines that have been considerably streamlined by international copyright conventions and treaties. To safeguard the creators and owners of works covered by foreign copyright and to provide protections that go beyond national borders, the International Copyright Order was created in 1999.

What is International Copyright Law?

International copyright law just does not exist! The scope and application of copyright law are both territorial and regional. The country's national laws will determine how to protect against illegal use of work there.

A number of international copyright treaties and conventions have made the procedure of providing protection to foreign copyright holders significantly simpler. This has given content producers and owners worldwide exclusive rights to use their works.

Due to international conventions and agreements (primarily the Berne Convention), which provide a common framework that national legislation must follow to ensure countries respect the rights of foreign authors, the fundamental rights are the same in the majority of countries even though the specifics of their national laws may vary.

This indicates that copyright safeguards your creation automatically on a global scale.

Principles Conventions and Agreements

It includes −

The Berne Convention

The primary international agreement controlling copyright is the Berne Convention. It establishes a framework that all contracting states must include in their national laws and extend to international authors and artists. This framework includes author rights, a minimum guaranteed copyright duration, activities requiring approval, etc.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works is its full name. It was initially ratified in 1886 as a commitment to respect the legal rights of all authors who are citizens of nations that have ratified the convention. The Paris Act of 1971 is the convention's present incarnation. The World Intellectual Property Organization is in charge of overseeing the convention (WIPO).

  • The Berne Convention has 181 nations as signatories as of 2022.

  • The Act protects authors whose nationalities are those of one of the Union's member nations or when the work is first published (or concurrently published) in one of those nations. The member nations make up the Union.

  • Persons who are not citizens but who have their habitual abode in a country of the Union will be treated as citizens for the purposes of the Convention.


TRIPS, also known as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, is a pact that all of the World Trade Organization's members have signed (WTO).

Many of the clauses are similar to the Berne Convention from the perspective of copyright.

Other Treaties and Agreements

Here are some other treaties that grant additional rights or are noteworthy historically −

  • The WIPO Treaty on Copyright (WCT) − A specific agreement made under the Berne Convention that deals with the rights of writers and the protection of works in the digital sphere.

  • Moroccan Treaty − According to the 2013 "Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled," government-authorized organizations are permitted to reproduce and distribute accessible versions of books to people who are blind, have visual impairments, or have other disabilities that make it difficult for them to read books.

International Copyright Application

India is a signatory to the Berne Convention, therefore even if the work was initially published there; it is protected by copyright in many other countries across the world. So, even if copyright protection is not formally requested, works that were first published in India are protected worldwide by copyright laws.

Any work that fits the definitions of music, art, theater, film, photography, or sound recordings is protected by copyright. It is necessary for the work being copied righted to be original, but originality of thinking or idea is not a requirement. Just being original in one's intellectual expression is what the law is all about.


The Universal Copyright Convention, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and the TRIPS Agreement in India are all parties to the International Copyright Order, which safeguards the copyright of nationals or entities of those nations. As a result, works from the countries covered by the International Copyright Order are safeguarded in India just like Indian works would be. India has also ratified a number of international copyright conventions, guaranteeing that its works are safeguarded abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is copyright the same in every country?

Ans. Since copyright protection is a national right, the level of protection provided to artists and authors varies from nation to nation and is governed by national law.

Q2. How much does an international copyright cost?

Ans. Depending on the nation or region where you file, the cost to file an international trademark normally ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. Moreover, there is an annual maintenance charge of about $500.

Q3. How does copyright law work between countries?

Ans. Every nation has specific copyright laws that control intellectual property (such as copyright) in that nation. A nation's copyright regulations only cover content produced and used there. This implies that an author's copyright that is legitimate in the United States might not be recognized in other nations.

Q4. Is Indian copyright valid internationally?

Ans. The Berne Convention imposes a duty that nations respect the copyrights held by residents of all other convention parties.

Q5. How can I get an international copyright?

Ans. According to the Berne Convention, copyright protection is automatically granted in the vast majority of nations without the requirement for registration or other procedures. Yet, most nations have a system in place that permits the voluntary registration of works.

Q6. Is copyright applicable worldwide?

Ans. There is no such thing as a global copyright protection that safeguards all of your protected works by default.

Updated on: 06-Apr-2023

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