International agreements with New Zealand
New Zealand is party to various international agreements, including:
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1928 (Rome Act revision)
- The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
- The Universal Copyright Convention 1952.
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works deals with copyright protection and authors’ rights. It is based on three basic principles and contains a series of provisions establishing minimum protection standards for member countries to incorporate into their national laws.
The Berne Convention requires contracting parties to give reciprocating rights to copyright owners whose work is created in one member country and used in another member country. The list of contracting parties can be found on the WIPO website.
Protection must not be conditional on compliance with any formalities.
In some member countries, you can register certain types of copyright work, however registration is not mandatory. Registration can provide additional benefits relating to procedures and damages if court action is taken for copyright infringement in that country.
Independence of protection
Protection is independent of the existence of protection in the member country where the work was created. This allows each member country to determine maximum duration of protection granted for each copyright work category.
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a multilateral treaty that includes copyright provisions. Like the Berne Convention, this Agreement includes the principles of national treatment and automatic protection. The list of contracting parties can be found on the WIPO website.
- World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – copyright information for WIPO member countries including New Zealand