More About Copyright - International Implications

At a recent workshop held by the Librarians of Second Life at Info Island on the issue of copyright by Dru Zuretti of the Copyright Clearance Center ( of Danvers, MA. Ms. Zuretti covered a wide scope of the basics of Title 17 statutes and how they may apply to Second Life content and usage.

International copyright issues were touched upon in this presentation and it was pointed out that, in general, copyright infringements are governed by the laws of the country in which the allegedly infringing activity occurs. This was reinforced by some internet sleuthing which revealed statements which suggested that the litigation is pursued internationally, for the most part, only when substantial market damage is being perpetrated on the right holder – i.e. someone is making a lot of money passing off someone else’s work as their own.

The Berne Convention (from Wikipedia) “The Berne Convention was developed at the instigation of Victor Hugo (in 1886) of the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale. Thus it was influenced by the French "right of the author" (droit d'auteur), which contrasts with the Anglo-Saxon concept of "copyright" which only dealt with economic concerns. Under the Convention, copyrights for creative works are automatically in force upon their creation without being asserted or declared. An author need not "register" or "apply for" a copyright in countries adhering to the Convention. As soon as a work is "fixed", that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work and to any derivative works, unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them or until the copyright expires. Foreign authors are given the same rights and privileges to copyrighted material as domestic authors in any country that signed the Convention . . .

“. . . The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty was adopted in 1996 to address the issues raised by information technology and the Internet, which were not addressed by the Berne Convention.”


See the entire entry of the above Wikipedia article complete with its embedded links at

WIPO and the Berne Convention . . . the 1996 WIPO World Copyright Treaty:

No comments: