Copyright protection rules are fairly similar worldwide, due to several international copyright treaties, the most important being the Berne Convention. Per this treaty, all member countries -- and there are over 100, including practically all industrialized nations -- must afford copyright protection to writers who are residents of any member country.
Per the Berne Convention, all member countries must offer copyright protection that lasts for at least the life of the writer, plus 50 years, and must be automatic without the need for the author to take any legal steps to preserve the copyright.
In addition to the Berne Convention, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade treaty (GATT), contains a number of provisions that affect copyright protection in most industrialized nations.
Together, the Berne Copyright Convention and the GATT treaty allow U.S. writers to enforce their copyrights and protect their works in most industrialized nations, and allow the residents of those nations to enforce their copyrights in the United States.
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In : September 2012