National Origin Laws At A Glance

National Origin Laws At A Glance

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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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