Law of the United States of America
and Related Laws
Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code
Berne Convention Implementation Act of 19881
Sec.1 · Short Title and References to Title 17,
United States Code.
(a) Short Title. — This
Act, may be cited as the “Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988”.
(b) References to Title 17, United
States Code. — Whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal
is expressed in terms of an amendment to or a repeal of a section or other
provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other
provision of title 17, United States Code.
Sec. 2 · Declarations.
The Congress makes the following declarations:
(1) The Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works, signed at Berne, Switzerland, on September 9, 1886, and all
acts, protocols, and revisions thereto (hereafter in this Act referred to as
the “Berne Convention”) are not self-executing under the Constitution
and laws of the United States.
(2) The obligations of the United States under the Berne
Convention may be performed only pursuant to appropriate domestic law.
(3) The amendments made by this Act, together with the
law as it exists on the date of the enactment of this Act, satisfy the obligations
of the United States in adhering to the Berne Convention and no further rights
or interests shall be recognized or created for that purpose.
Sec. 3 · Construction of the Berne Convention.
(a) Relationship with Domestic Law. — The
provisions of the Berne Convention —
(1) shall be given effect under title 17, as amended by
this Act, and any other relevant provision of Federal or State law, including
the common law; and
(2) shall not be enforceable in any action brought pursuant
to the provisions of the Berne Convention itself.
(b) Certain Rights Not Affected. — The
provisions of the Berne Convention, the adherence of the United States thereto,
and satisfaction of United States obligations thereunder, do not expand or
reduce any right of an author of a work, whether claimed under Federal, State,
or the common law —
(1) to claim authorship of the work; or
(2) to object to any distortion, mutilation, or other
modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the work, that
would prejudice the author’s honor or reputation.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 12 · Works in the public domain.
Title 17, United States Code, as amended by this Act, does not
provide copyright protection for any work that is in the public domain in the
Sec. 13 · Effective date: effect on pending cases.
(a) Effective Date. — This
Act and the amendments made by this Act take effect on the date on which the
Berne Convention (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code)
enters into force with respect to the United States.2
(b) Effect on Pending Cases. — Any
cause of action arising under title 17, United States Code, before the effective
date of this Act shall be governed by the provisions of such title as in effect
when the cause of action arose.
1This appendix consists
of provisions of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, Pub. L. No.
100-568, 102 Stat. 2853, that do not amend title 17 of the United States Code.
2The Berne Convention
entered into force in the United States on March 1, 1989.