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Do U.S. copyrights transfer to other countries?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2021 | Copyright Law

Copyrights can help you protect the ideas that you have worked hard to create. While you may have successfully secured copyright in New York, will it work overseas?

Understanding the scope of your copyright protection can save you from disappointment and devastating loss if your unprotected content gets into the wrong hands.

The role of copyright

Copyright allows you to create and then protect your creation from people who would copy your work for a profit. Copyrights differ from patents and trademarks. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, copyright provides exclusive protection of your ideas for things including the following:

  • Literature
  • Cinema productions
  • Artistic works
  • Drama productions
  • Architecture
  • Computer software

If approved, your copyright will last the duration of your life. Even after your death, your copyright will remain in operation for another 70 years.

Protection overseas

While it may seem as though securing copyright is the end of your concerns about people stealing your work, you should still practice vigilance. The U.S. Copyright Office reminds you that while they work to maintain good relations with other countries in terms of copyright law, not all countries fall into that category.

For the most part, your copyright may have mutual protection in other countries, but it is wise to verify that fact before relying on your U.S. copyright to provide ultimate protection overseas. The U.S. Copyright Office provides a complete list of which countries they have copyright relations with to assist you in your preparation to share your works overseas. When copyright is not acknowledged by another country, secure an equal form of protection before you share your work.