The first international agreement in the field of copyright was the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, adopted on September 9, 1886.
The Berne Convention, firstly, established a list of rights that belong to the authors of a work.
The Berne Convention also established a number of principles balancing the laws of different countries:
the principle of national treatment;
the principle of the independence of protection;
presumption of authorship.
In 1952, the Universal (Geneva) Copyright Convention was developed as an alternative to the Berne Convention.
In most of the provisions, the Universal Copyright Convention coincides with the Berne Convention, for example, it requires equivalent copyright protection for the work of a member state of the Convention in other member states.
However, there are also differences between them: the World Convention establishes a term of protection for a work equal to the entire life of the author and 25 years after his death. Initially, 50 countries signed the Universal Copyright Convention. At the moment, it has more than 200 participating countries.
Other international agreements in the field of copyright also include the Rome Convention, which protects the rights of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations; Geneva Convention for the Protection of Phonograms; Brussels Convention on the Rights of Broadcasters; CIS Agreement; TRIPS Agreement and EU directives.
In most countries, under the Berne Convention, copyright protection is granted automatically without the need for registration or other formalities.
However, most countries have voluntary registration systems for works. Such voluntary registration systems can help resolve issues related to disputes about the owner or author of a work, financial transactions, sale, assignment or transfer of rights.
In most countries, the duration of copyright depends on the lifespan of the author. After he dies, his copyright will last for at least 50 more years. In most countries, this period is 70 years after the death of the author.