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 9: Formality requirements

Jørgen Blomqvist


Article 5(2) of the Berne Convention states that '[t]he enjoyment and the exercise of these rights [that is, the rights granted under national treatment and the minimum rights, as stated in the preceding paragraph] shall not be subject to any formality'. The concept of formality must be understood in a broad sense as covering any action required to ensure that the rights of the author come about or may be claimed. Accordingly it is not permitted for national law of the Union countries to demand that a claim for copyright protection must be made, in writing or otherwise, in order for works originating in other Union countries to be protected. Such formalities were permitted in the early acts of the Convention and it still contains a less important rule about 'press clippings' in Article 10bis(1) where formalities play a role. That provision is discussed in Chapter 18 (2). Formalities were explicitly permitted in the UCC. Here, however, they are harmonized, as Article III(1) of the UCC provides that they shall be considered fulfilled if 'from the time of the first publication all the copies of the work published with the authority of the author or other copyright proprietor bear the symbol © accompanied by the name of the copyright proprietor and the year of first publication placed in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of claim of copyright'. In the same way the Pan-American Copyright Convention contained a rule concerning the use of the words 'all rights reserved'.

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