Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights

Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights

Jørgen Blomqvist

The international law on copyright and related rights is comprehensive and complex, spanning over a large number of different treaties which have been compiled and amended over more than 125 years. This book gives a concise, but comprehensive introduction to the rules and their rationales. Its rights-oriented approach makes it equally valuable to the student and the practitioner who needs both an introduction to and overview over the international law in the field. The book explains all treaties relevant today, from the 1886 Berne Convention to the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty of 2013.

Chapter 19: The term of protection

Jørgen Blomqvist

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


The term of protection under Article 7(1) of the Berne Convention is the lifetime of the author plus 50 years. Originally this term was not even indicated in the Convention. It solely contained a provision on comparison of terms, as discussed below, and the present term was only adopted as a facultative provision in the 1908 Berlin Act. In the 1948 Brussels Act the provision was made binding with certain transitory rules, that will be discussed below. For audiovisual works the shortest term of protection was fixed at 50 years from the end of the year in which the work is first made available to the public with the consent of the author, or, if the work has not in this way been made available, 50 years after the making (paragraph (2)). A special rule for anonymous and pseudonymous works in paragraph (3) also grants 50 years of protection, but requires in that respect that the work has been 'lawfully' made available to the public. For this category of works it is in reality not possible to ascertain whether the consent of the author has been given. When a pseudonym leaves no doubt as to his or her identity, or if the author of an anonymous or pseudonymous work discloses his or her identity, the normal term according to paragraph (1) applies.

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