International Copyright Law

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darinfan
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International Copyright Law

Post by darinfan » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:22 pm

I have found the following information on the Wikipedia entry for Copyright Law of the United Kingdom:
Where the author is not British (by nationality or domicile), and the work was first published outside the United Kingdom (and not published in the UK within 30 days thereafter), the period of copyright protection provided by UK law is limited to that provided by the laws of the "country of origin" of the work.
My reading of that is that, if a USA magazine and its contributions (by American writers) are out of copyright (lapsed) in America, they would also be out of copyright in the UK despite the normal rule of lifetime of the author plus seventy years.

Is my interpretation correct?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:46 pm

Hi darinfan,
The Wikipedia entry is not entirely correct: where it refers to the UK, this should read European Economic Area (EEA). Here's what secton 12 (6) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 says:
(6) Where the country of origin of the work is not an EEA state and the author of the work is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright is that to which the work is entitled in the country of origin, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsections (2) to (5).
Subsection (2) is where it says that the copyright term is the lifetime of the author plus 70 years, and subsections (3) to (5) deal with the case where the identity of the author is unknown, and provide details about what making something available to the public means in that context.

Section 12 needs to be read in conjunction with section 15A:
15A Meaning of country of origin.

(1) For the purposes of the provisions of this Part relating to the duration of copyright the country of origin of a work shall be determined as follows.

(2) If the work is first published in a Berne Convention country and is not simultaneously published elsewhere, the country of origin is that country.

(3) If the work is first published simultaneously in two or more countries only one of which is a Berne Convention country, the country of origin is that country.

(4) If the work is first published simultaneously in two or more countries of which two or more are Berne Convention countries, then—
  • (a) if any of those countries is an EEA state, the country of origin is that country; and

    (b) if none of those countries is an EEA state, the country of origin is the Berne Convention country which grants the shorter or shortest period of copyright protection.
(5) If the work is unpublished or is first published in a country which is not a Berne Convention country (and is not simultaneously published in a Berne Convention country), the country of origin is—
  • (a) if the work is a film and the maker of the film has his headquarters in, or is domiciled or resident in a Berne Convention country, that country;

    (b) if the work is—
    • (i) a work of architecture constructed in a Berne Convention country, or

      (ii) an artistic work incorporated in a building or other structure situated in a Berne Convention country,
    that country;

    (c) in any other case, the country of which the author of the work is a national.
(6) In this section—
  • (a) a “Berne Convention countryâ€￾ means a country which is a party to any Act of the International Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works signed at Berne on 9th September 1886; and

    (b) references to simultaneous publication are to publication within 30 days of first publication.
So yes, if you can be sure that:
  • - the authors are all non-EEA citizens and were not EEA residents (at the time the relevant works were created),
    - the works were not published simultaneously anywhere within the EEA,
    - and the works are no longer in copyright in the country of origin,
then they are also not in copyright in the UK (or indeed, elsewhere in the EEA).
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

darinfan
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Post by darinfan » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:27 pm

Thank you :) I'm so glad you put it in plain English at the end, as I was getting confused with the jargon :)

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