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International Legal Framework

National laws in almost every country set forth the specific rights of authors, producers and performers of copyrighted works. International treaties also ensure that these creators are protected in countries other than their own.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works provides basic protections for authors, lyricists and composers internationally. The music industry also relies on treaties that specifically protect sound recordings, including the Rome Convention, the Geneva Phonograms Convention, and the WTO TRIPs Agreement.

The international legal framework for updating copyright laws for the digital era was laid down in two WIPO Treaties concluded in Geneva in December 1996, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). Signed by more than 100 countries, the treaties require ratification by 30 signatories in order to be come into force worldwide. At the start of the year 2000, approximately 13 states had ratified the treaties, and several other countries are working on their implementing legislation.
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