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Copyright Law - Research

Research Guide Created for Prof. Callister's Copyright Course

WIPO and International Copyright Law

WIPO logo

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the designated depository for the major international conventions regarding copyright, including the Berne Convention of 1886.  WIPO Lex is a database of national copyright laws as well as treaties.  It is a first stop for international and foreign law research.  For example, if you needed to know whether transfer of copyright must be in writing in a given country, try WIPO Lex.

For more information on WIPO, see Thomas Cottier, The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law.

WTO and Intellectual Property

WTO Logo

Besides WIPO, the other major organization that deals with intellectual property, including copyright is the WTO.  That is because there are trade implications for intellectual property.  Concessions on recognizing copyright for regularly foreigners are granted as part of trade negotiations.  

TRIPS or the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is administered by the WTO.  The WTO TRIPS site has news items and helpful publications, including reference to Antony Taubman, Hannu Wager & Jayashree Watal, A Handbook on the WTO TRIPS Agreement (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which the law library plans to provide as an eBook, along with other relevant titles, in the coming year.  Check the library catalog or librarian for status.

The actual TRIPS agreement is linked here.  For more information on TRIPS, see Daniel Gervais, Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1994), Max Plank Encylopedia of Public International Law.

EU Copyright Law

EU Intellectual Property Office

 EU Directive (available Sept. 12, 2018)

  • Tech giants must pay for work of artists and journalists which they use
  • Small and micro platforms excluded from directive’s scope
  • Hyperlinks, “accompanied by “individual words” can be shared freely
  • Journalists must get a share of any copyright-related remuneration obtained by their publishing house