Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1993


For centuries people have expressed themselves through creative works of art and literature, and since 1557 artists and authors have been able to protect their rights to their creative works through various national copyright laws. National copyright laws basically grant a monopoly in the use of the work to its creator. Copyrighted goods, however, are often easily transported across national boundaries, and thus national copyright laws may provide inadequate copyright protection in the international marketplace. The necessity for international copyright protection has been met to some extent by copyright conventions. International copyright conventions, like national copyright laws, define the scope and duration of the creator's right to receive financial remuneration for his or her creative works. Both international copyright conventions and domestic copyright laws may conflict with the concept of free trade. Free trade among nations is a concept which has increased in importance over the last several decades, as has been shown by the proliferation of multinational trading organizations such as the European Community (EC)5 and by free trade areas created by agreements such as the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).



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