Foreign Authors

Under the U.S. copyright law a foreign author’s work may be protected.  Unpublished works are protected without regard to the nationality or domicile of the author.  Protection of a foreign author’s work in the U.S. depends on the copyright relationship shared between the U.S and the country to which foreign author belong.

The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world and so it protects the work of the authors of those countries as well.  The Berne convention, which was established for the copyright protection among its member nations, was signed by the U.S. in 1989.  Member countries of the Berne Convention treat foreign authors equivalently to domestic authors.

If the work is first published in United States or in a member country of an international convention signed by the U.S. the work can be protected in the U.S. even if the work is that of a foreign author. Such work can be registered with the U.S. copyright office.  The work includes a sound recording that was first fixed in a member country, a sculptural or architectural work embodied in a building located in the United States or in a member country and any other work first published in United States or in a foreign nation that, on the date of first publication, is a member nation.

Whenever the President finds that a particular nation treats works of U.S. authors equivalently to their domestic authors, the President may by proclamation extend protection to works of that country like any U.S.work.


Inside Foreign Authors