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The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) is an international copyright agreement that mandates equal treatment of copyrighted works by Berne signatories, known as the Berne Union. It requires signatory member countries to recognize copyrighted literary or artistic works in the same way that its national copyrights are recognized. For example, U.S. Copyright law applies to anything published in the United States, regardless of the work's origin.
The Berne Convention was adopted in 1886 in Berne, Switzerland.
According to the Berne Convention, all works - except cinematography and photography - are copyrighted for a a minimum term of 50 years after the death of an author, but longer terms may be provided related parties.
Although the Berne Convention applies the copyright law of the member signatory, the "rule of the shorter term" applies under article 7.8, which states that an author is not entitled to a copyright term longer than the term held at home, even if a country's laws provide a longer term. However, not all countries adhere to this rule.
The Berne Convention also allows signatories to apply fair use of copyrighted works in other broadcasts or publications, as reflected in the WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996. This language may imply that Internet service providers (ISP) are not liable for unauthorized communications between users.