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What is the Berne Convention and how does it affect copyright?
The Berne Convention is one of many agreements protecting intellectual works in countries outside of their borders. Canada signed the 1886 Berne Convention in 1923 which has considerable impact on our sovereignty over cultural matters. While the Act protects the rights of creators, Berne and other treaties expand protections to territories of other countries. Formally known as the International Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Berne underwent major revisions in 1929 and 1971. There are 184 member states in WIPO whose purpose is to provide international copyright protection. Members agree to provide protection as though the work originated in their own country. Berne does not dictate laws but sets minimum standards for members. Canadian law meets the standards of the 1971 revision but they have no legal effect. Berne can be referred to when interpreting the Copyright Act. Works copyrighted in Canada automatically have copyright protection in Berne member states. Berne is one of many international agreements and others include: