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International Copyright Law
Surprise! There Is No International Copyright Law
Many people are surprised to learn that there is no international copyright law. Yes, that is right. There is not an international copyright law that will protect your work on the other side of the world. However, it is important to note that most countries do offer some form of protection to what is deemed as ?foreign? works.
International conventions and treaties have done much to protect owners of copyrights around the world. With the world seemingly becoming smaller every day the United States took a look at its stance on the European copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention. Basically, the Berne Convention of 1886 involved European nations coming together to seek a uniform copyright law to keep their copyright owners from having to register for copyrights in individuals European countries. The United States signed on to the Berne Convention introduced made it into a U.S. law known as the Berne Implementation Act of 1988.
If you are seeking to have your work protected in a particular country you need to find out what kind of protection foreign authors have in that country. Some countries offer little or not protection to foreign authors. It should be noted that the U.S. Copyright Office is not allowed to give authors recommendations or the names of attorneys or agents that could help them understand foreign copyright laws. However, with a little investigation it is not hard to find someone who is an expert on foreign copyright law. These individuals can help you learn more about copyright protection and how your work is deemed in a foreign country.
Someone who works in international copyright law will tell you that it is different than most other sectors of law. It involves knowing the copyright law of two or more countries. Every country has their own way of granting and protecting someone?s copyright. The individual criteria of each country must be taken into consideration when you are dealing with international copyright law. It is important to note that some countries do not have any intellectual property rights and some countries even grant more copyright protections than even the United States. International copyright laws involve understanding international treaties and conventions, like the Berne Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty listed above. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in law, you may want to explore the international copyright law sector. With the world becoming one big neighborhood, you will probably not lack for work.
People that have copyrighted works need to be aware that there are differences in the copyright laws in some nations. While it is true that the United States has signed treaties with some nations, your work will not be protected in every country of the world. As stated, the United States is a member of the Berne treaty. In addition, the United States is a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty works in conjunction with the Berne treaty yet it also covers and gives protection to databases and computer programs. If you would like more information on international copyright law you should check with an attorney who specializes in international copyright law.
Find a copyright lawyer How to find copyright lawyer Finding a copyright lawyer isn?t as hard as it use to be, not as long as you actually know how to find a copyright lawyer. Today, there are more copyright lawyers popping up than there were 10 years ago. It seems that having a copyright or needing to protect one has become very popular with the way our technology is advancing. One way to find a copyright lawyer is to simply type the phrase, ?copyright lawyer? into a search engine and click on a few links. Many pages will actually allow you to choose the state in which you live to find one nearby. You?ll may even be given a choice of cities to choose from and if you are lucky enough one will be the actual town you live in. If not that is fine too, most copyright lawyers will have a phone number or an email address for you to contact them. Chances are they may even be willing to work with you online instead of you having to drive down and meet with them. Copyright lawyers know the world is changing and that most people searching for them want someone that actually practices what they preach. They want someone that knows the internet and is up-to-date with the times, not someone that has a degree in the field but only does it as a hobby. You want them because they?ve done several cases and know what they are doing and will have the time to do it. Which is probably why many people are able to find copyright lawyer homepages or their own websites, which means getting to know the lawyer before they even call them. Search the lawyers name and find out all there is to know about them before you hire him/her. You don?t want someone that has a lot of complaints about; you want the person that has high praises. When you are trying to find a copyright lawyer keep in mind exactly what it is you need them for. There are certain types of copyright lawyers they deal with different areas such as lyrics, stories, website designs and many other forms. For instance if you have just found out that someone has copied an article or a blog you have out there in cyberspace you may want to find a copyright lawyer that deals with copyright infringement, maybe a intellectual property lawyer. If you aren?t sure if you have stuff out there that is being copied you may want to check over at copyscape.com. Before you find a copyright lawyer you should make sure you have all your information in order. If you are insisting someone else is using your stuff, make sure you have proof. One good way to do this is by marking the date you wrote it and then sealing it in an envelope and mailing it to yourself. Making sure to never open the sealed envelope. Make sure any work you do online is saved to a disk so you?ll always have proof. Your lawyer should be able to tell you everything you need before meeting with him/her. Finding a lawyer wasn?t hard and you even learned how to find out if he/she is any good by browsing the internet. Don?t just take them at their word, find out for sure. Or if you are lucky enough, you may know someone that has already used one and can recommend a good one for you. Now that you know how to find a copyright lawyer, you just need to make sure you can afford him/her.
How to copyright software How to Copyright Software Sanely If you're wondering how to copyright software the good news is you've probably already done it. At least you have if you have ever written software. Most people however get confused over exactly what having a copyright for their software means and this is the trickier question to answer. First of all, thinking it isn't going to do it and you can't really copyright the things you think. Second, only those things that can be seen (when it comes to software) can be copyrighted. If you want to protect the abstract, look into patents. Otherwise if it is original, fixed, and tangible you can copyright it. Essentially you already know how to copyright software if you've put it into a finished form. Once you've written the source code the copyright belongs to you. Copyrighting software doesn't offer the protection that many people hope it will. The idea of the software and anything about the finished product that wasn't available in a tangible (visible) form isn't protected by the copyright. In fact the only thing that is undeniably protected by copyright when it comes to software is the source code. The question you should be asking is now how to copyright software, it is how to patent your software and that requires a much more involved and prolonged explanation. To obtain a patent for your software you must apply for a patent in each country that offers patents for software and in which you wish to have the protection a patent can offer. I warned you this was much trickier than how to copyright software. Then it gets trickier still. There is no universal legal definition of what a software patent is so each country that offers patents also has a different definition for what is protected by that patent as well as for why a patent will be granted. If you want to add to the confusion a little more while wondering how to copyright software, also consider the fact that your software may be given a patent in one of the countries where you applied and none of the others. Of course, if this is not enough fun for you, you can try to deal with the red tape involved in dealing with multiple governments in order to resolve any issues or disputes that may have arisen from the result of the software patents you hold. If you've forgotten the original question it was: how to copyright software? I told you that one was much easier. The main thing you need to do if you're going for international patents (which can secure a profitable future for you and your business) is to get a really good patent lawyer and have him walk you through and hold your hand for the entire process. In fact, I would say that's probably the best advice you can get. Patents are complicated and when you're not exactly sure of what you're doing, whom you need to talk to, and what the next step is you stand to waste a lot of time while taking a bigger risk. It is much easier to deal with how to copyright software on your own than it is to work out the complicated world of software patents. If this is your first time designing your own software you have every right to be nervous and excited and scared to death at the same time. Remember lawyers went to school much longer than you in order to know what to do in this situation so you should not be expected to know how to copyright software when you've never done it before.
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