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Copyright law

From GPLv3 Wiki

This page discusses variations in copyright law in different jurisdictions around the world, paying special attention to portions which may affect the applicability or scope of the GPL.

Today most countries in the world are members of the Berne Convention. This international treaty ("Berne") sets basic rules on copyright. Under Berne, a copyright is granted automatically when a work is created. Copyright notices are optional, and in general, the fact that a work has no notice at all on it has little or no effect on its protection under Berne. (In some countries, the lack of notice may have an effect on the amount of damages that are available to be assessed against someone who did not know a work was protected, but even lack of knowledge of the copyright protection of a work is not a bar to liability for unauthorized use of copyrighted material beyond that permitted under fair use.)

Berne also states that copyright lasts for the duration of the author's life plus at least 50 years, unless it's pseudononymous (released under a fictious name) or a work for hire, in which case it is protected for 95 years from date of first publication. (There are some exceptions for some countries which ratified Berne before the term was increased from 75 years, and may choose to select the former lower maximum term for works not issed by an individual.)

Countries are free to make additional rules, but those should not violate the Berne Convention's rules.

If there is additional information about a country's copyright laws, please create a page.