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Does copyright protection extend overseas?

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Copyright protection does not automatically extend internationally; that is, protection of a work will not automatically exist from country to country, but will depend on an individual country’s national laws. However, there are two different international copyright agreements in affect at this time, the Berne Convention on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Universal Copyright Convention.

Generally speaking, these agreements, which most countries are a part of, treat foreign works with the same protection that a local work in a given country would receive. These agreements also attempt to establish an international minimum copyright protection standard for any given work, which is set for the creator’s life plus 50 years. Furthermore, the United States guarantees copyright protection in certain countries based on reciprocal copyright relations with those countries.


For more information on intellectual property, please visit Patent, Trademark, Copyright Information.

The content of this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice and does not create attorney-client privilege. Consult the attorney of your choice before embarking on any legal matter or any document preparation/filing.

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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.

C2008, Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC; all rights reserved, world-wide.

Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30339
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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100 - Atlanta, Georgia 30339