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National Origin Laws At A Glance

National Origin Laws At A Glance

National
origin laws, in regard to
 copyright law, have been established over a series of
conventions dating back to the Berne Convention
 in 1886. The Berne Convention
established copyright protection for literary and artistic works for people of
any nation that agreed to the rules of the Convention. The United States did
not become a member of a copyright conference until 1908 with the Mexico City
Convention. This Convention took place at the Second International Conference
of American States at Mexico City, January 27, 1902.

The United
States became a member agreeing to the terms of the Mexico City Convention in
June 30, 1908. Soon after, the United States proclaimed it would follow the
rules of the Buenos Aires Convention. The Buenos Aires Conference took place at
the Fourth International Conference of American States in 1910. In 1914,
President Wilson proclaimed that the United States would act under the Buenos Aires
Convention and no longer be a member of the Mexico City Convention. These
conventions were meant to make consistent international copyright laws for all
members of the party.

The Universal Copyright Convention was held to
serve as an alternative to the Berne Convention. Less developed countries felt
the Berne Convention offered too much protection to developed countries in
regard to copyrights and the ownership of developed medications. Medication
falls under protected scientific research. The Universal Copyright Convention
was held at Geneva in 1952 and the United States joined the party in 1955. The
Universal Copyright Convention offered a shorter amount of time a work could
remain copyrighted. It also required a copyright registration, unlike the Berne
Convention.

The United States would eventually join the Berne
Convention in 1989. With new technology emerging, the United States would also
join the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1996. This organization
protects information technology and the Internet, topics that were not covered
by the Berne Convention. Also in 1996, the United States joined to WIPO
Performances and Phonograms Treaty which offered protection for performances
and sound recordings.

Members of
these conventions were all under the same laws regardless of their national
origin. The conventions were an effective way of protecting original works as
they were viewed by people of other nations. The original work is protected
under national origin laws for all members of a specific treaty party.

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