Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights
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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.
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Chapter 7: National treatment

Jørgen Blomqvist


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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