The Berne Convention,1886

Assume you spent months working on a musical composition. While you are basking in the glory of its triumph, you realise that it has been snatched by another composer from a neighbouring country. If this had occurred in 1885, it would have been legal because there was no uniform law that extended to the protection of literary and artistic works outside the borders of the country where they originated. However, the passage of the Berne Convention proved to be a watershed moment in the lives of both artists and authors.

The Berne Convention is an international agreement that was established in 1886 and was signed by eight countries, including the United Kingdom. The agreement was first signed in Switzerland and has since spread to regulate laws in over 177 countries worldwide. The UAE has been a member of the Berne Convention since April 2004, and the treaty went into effect in July of that year. The Berne Convention’s main goal is to broaden the scope of protection for artists’ and authors’ works beyond the borders of their native country. If you are an Arab and you publish a book in the United State of America, the Berne Convention will protect you as an author. The treaty’s Article 2 strives to protect the originality of all literary works.

The Berne Convention addresses the preservation of works and the authors’ rights. It is founded on three fundamental principles and includes several rules specifying the minimum level of protection to be provided, as well as exceptional provisions available to developing nations that wish to employ them.

The Berne Convention is based on three fundamental principles:

National Treatment

Members of the Berne Union should respect works initially published in any of the united nations, as well as all works by the creator who is a citizen of a Union country, in the same way, that they would safeguard their nationals’ works.

Automatic Protection

The protection provided by the concept of national treatment must be unconditional and not conditional.

Independence of Protection

The Berne Convention’s protection is not contingent on the existence of protection in the nation where the creation originated. In some cases, the contracting country may decide to safeguard the work for a period longer than the convention’s minimum. In the meantime, if the work is no longer protected in the nation where it was created, the protection may be repealed.

Minimum Standards of Berne Convention

Works eligible for protection

Copyright protection must be provided for “any production in the literary, scientific, and artistic sphere, whatever the mode or form of expression,” according to Article 2(1) of the Convention.

Rights under Berne Convention

The Contracting State must regard the following rights as exclusive authorisation rights:

  • The right to perform in public – plays and musical works
  • The right to recite in public
  • The right to broadcast
  • The right to communicate the performance of such arts to the public
  • The right to translate
  • The right to make adaptations and arrangements of the work
  • The right to reproduce the work in any form
  • The right to use the work as a base for audiovisual work
  • Moral rights – the right to claim ownership

The Berne Convention established a minimum protection period for all tangible works of 50 years after the author’s death. Photography and cinematography are the sole exceptions to the protection term. In this scenario, the minimum protection period for a photograph is 25 years from the year the photograph was taken, and 50 years from the year of creation or publication for cinematography.

The pact assures that the rights of these creative individuals are protected. The Berne Convention also guarantees artists and authors legitimate sovereignty over their masterwork in terms of adaptation, dissemination, and reproduction. Apart from laying the groundwork for a consistent and unbiased approach to recognising the copyright of works from other nations, the international treaty expects its signatories to deliver a set of baseline requirements and to seek special measures for enforcing copyright laws.

India’s position on the Berne Convention

India, as an active member of the Berne Union, adheres to the International Copyright Order (1999). It protects the creative content of foreigners belonging to countries in the Berne Union against infringement. Indian copyright law applies to any such work published in India, regardless of where it was originally made.

The Berne Convention is a benefit for authors, painters, poets, and other professionals engaged with all sorts of artistic and literary works since it allows them to publish their works safely in an international forum.


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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