Freelance Writers & Copyrights – What You Need to Know About International Rights – Part 2

copyright for writersLast week I wrote about US copyright law and promised I’d do something on Interntational Copyrights,

The bad news is there is no such thing as an international or global copyright that will protect writers and other artists around the world.

The good news is that there are two major international conventions dealing with copyrights – the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). The United States is party to both.

According to US copyright law pages, if the country you’re in is a part of these agreement, you’re pretty much protected (the UCC asks that a copyright symbol (©) be placed on the work). This also means as a writer you must respect the copyrights of others if their country has signed on.  You’ll find a list of signatory countries midway down this page.

If the country you’re in or the one you want protection in hasn’t signed on to these agreements it may be possible to get protection if the country in question is part of any number of other copyright treaties or agreements.

However – and hear shouting this – if you really think you need protection outside the United States, particularly in countries with odd copyright agreements, you’d best get a real expert – probably an intellectual property rights lawyer with solid international experience. I’m certainly not a lawyer – get the help you need, please.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman



Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by MusesTouch – digiArt & desig

Previous post:

Next post: