Songrite Copyright Office
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International Copyright Registration Service

Copyright Laws & Treaties

There is no such thing as an “international copyright” that will automatically protect an author’s writings throughout the world. Protection against unauthorised use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country. However, most countries offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions that have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions.

There are two principal international copyright conventions, the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property(Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC).This link is to an outside source

These rights are provided by national laws in individual countries. International treaties serve to forge links among different national laws, ensuring that creators are also protected in another country than their own. The treaties do not overrule national law, but require the countries that join them to grant some specified minimum rights, and to do so on a non-discriminatory basis.

These links below are primarily concerned with the Protection of Literary an Artistic Works however, they do include all aspects relating to copyright.

The acceptance and implementation of these treaties and conventions is almost universal as more and more countries add their names to the list of signatories.

An alternative and ineffective copyright system:

Some countries have no provision for registering copyrights and can offer no alternative other than the futile exercise of "Poor Man’s Copyright"

Poor Man's Copyright:

The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself in a sealed envelope or package is often referred to as a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the text of international copyright law that recognises this as a reliable alternative to registration. Therefore the process of placing reliance on the “poor man’s copyright” is not a viable substitute for registration.

Should any of the following happen and you wish to seek redress.

You will be required to provide absolute proof of ownership which is acceptable in a court of law, unfortunately within the scope and extent of the legal world "poor man's copyright" does not provide this requisite proof of ownership and would not be acceptable as solid evidence. This alternative copyright method is deeply flawed and easily circumvented by anyone with a modicum of ability, rendering this practice useless and totally unacceptable as proof of copyright ownership.

Proof of copyright ownership:

A certificate of registration provides solid proof and affords the required legal evidence to support the named claimant as the registered copyright owner of the work as described upon the said certificate. (as from the date of registration). This unequivocal evidence can be used in a court of law to support your claim should a dispute or an infringement occur. We also retain backup copies of your work that are time stamped as from the date of registration.

There is no viable, affordable or easy obtainable alternative to copyright registration.

These links are to outside sources.

The information contained within this site is offered as a consideration to visitors and at no time should the information be construed as legal advice; for all legal matters, we encourage our clients to seek the assistance of an attorney. The Copyright Office is not responsible for policing, or checking on registered works and their use, and cannot guarantee that the legitimacy of ownership or originality in a work registered by Songrite will never be questioned.
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