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Authors’ rights in the Anglo-Saxon world

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  1. Introduction.
  2. International rules.
    1. Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
    2. Berne Convention and the WIPO.
    3. UCC and TRIPS.
  3. American authors right and notion of copyright.
    1. Copyright.
    2. Complementary rights.
    3. Last cases law.
  4. British rights.
    1. European efforts.
    2. Specificities of the British law.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

The authors' rights are a very important problem of the modern economic world. The rules that regulate the authors' rights have always been created in the reaction of some social facts; they always have been late on the sociological and technical transformations. The first fundamental act was the Statute of Anne in 1710. For the first time the notion of "copyright" was instituted but already on this time this decision just confirmed a social reality and the raise of importance of authors. After this first law almost nothing changed for authors during two centuries and it is just in 19th century that some improvement in their protection occurred. Today again the authors' rights are late on the reality. The internationalization narrowed peoples and cultures and internet gave the opportunity to exchange information very easily and quickly. In front of these evolutions it is essential today to protect in a better way authors. The sector of culture represents a very high turnover, for example just in the United States the turnover of this sector was last year 537 billiards of dollars. And nowadays it has great difficulties, and firstly the sector music obviously, linked directly with all the piracy that has grown with internet.

[...] The Berne Convention for the Protection of literary and artistic works stay a long time inefficient because most of important countries did not join it, but lastly it took more importance with the accession of countries as the United States which became a member in 1989. Today the convention has 17O members. The Berne Convention has two main roles. Firstly it creates some minimum standards for each member (very minimal rules as for example just that an artist has to be paid for its work etc.) and the ?national treatment? for foreign works. [...]

[...] The main differences is in the Latin world the right of an author is attached to his/her person, it can not be sold, whereas in the Anglo-Saxon one the law distinguishes the author from its creation, which became a simple product which is possible to sell. The international organizations try to harmonize these systems by distinguishing two different notions economic rights and moral ones. Let see what are other particularities of the American a British system. American authors' right and notion of copyright 1 Copyright Two very important Acts defines the national authors' rights: the Copyright Act of 1909 and the one of 1978. [...]

[...] Then this idea was affirmed again in 1978: ?Ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, is distinct from ownership of any material object in which the work is embodied. Transfer of ownership of any material object, including the copy or phonorecord in which the work is first fixed, does not of itself convey any right in the copyrighted work embodied in the object; nor, in the absence of an agreement, does transfer of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive rights under a copyright convey property rights in any material object?. [...]

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