Chapter 7: National treatment
Historically the national treatment requirement was at the core of the protection of literary and artistic works under the Berne Convention, because it contained only a very limited catalogue of minimum rights in the version that was adopted in 1886. The provision on national treatment, however, was and remains very broadly worded. It entails that a Union member country must grant to authors of other Union countries 'the rights which [the] respective laws [of the Union member] do now or may hereafter grant to [its] nationals […]'. The provision is now in Article 5(1) of the Paris Act of the Convention. Later treaties dealing with related rights, however, have adopted more narrow formulations or in reality more or less abandoned the rules. This is discussed under (2), below. It follows logically from the concept of granting national treatment that the protection at least as a main rule must be granted independently of the existence and level of protection in the country of origin. This is explicitly stated in Article 5(2) and Article 19, and it is often referred to as the principle of 'independence of protection'. Even if national treatment is the main rule under the Berne Convention, it also contains a number of exceptions, where Union members may reduce the protection in accordance with the level of protection granted in the country of origin of the work.
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