International protection

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International protection

When your copyright work is created in New Zealand it is automatically protected here. It is also protected under the copyright laws of countries that have international agreements with New Zealand. 

International agreements with New Zealand

New Zealand is party to various international agreements, including:

The Berne Convention

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.

National treatment

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.

Automatic protection

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.

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

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.