Art. 1 of the Berne Convention establishes a union for the protection of the rights of authors in their literary and artistic works (“the Bern Union”) with an assembly and executive committee.
Literary and Artistic Works
Art. 2 (6) requires literary and artistic works to be protected in all countries of the Union for the benefit of the author and his successors in title. Art. 2 (1) lists the types of work that fall within that description while art. 2 (2) permits national legislatures to decide whether or not protection should depend on a measure of fixation in material form. Art. 3 requires such protection to apply to works of nationals and habitual residents of members of the Union and works first published in a member of the Union. Special provision is made for authors of cinematographic and artistic works by art. 4.
Art. 6bis requires authors to be entitled to claim authorship and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to their works that would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation. These rights, known as moral rights are to subsists quite independently of their economic rights.
Art. 7 provides a general minimum term of protection of the life of the author plus 50 years with variations for particular types of copyright work.
Arts. 8 and 9 restrict to copyright owners the translation and reproduction of their works subject to certain conditional exceptions for quotation, educational use, reporting of current events and so forth in arts. 10 and 10bis. The performance and communication of dramatic and musical works are restricted to copyright owners by arts. 11 and 11bis. Recitation and adaptation are also restricted by arts. 11ter and 12. Art. 14ter provides a resale right for original manuscripts and works of art.
Art. 15 permits authors to sue for infringement if their name appears on the work. Art. 16 provides for seizure of infringing copies.
Art. 20 permits members of the Union to enter special agreements to provide greater rights to authors if they so wish. The WIPO Copyright Treaty is a special agreement within the meaning of art. 20 of Bern.
Art. 21 and the Appendix to the Convention make special provision for developing countries on the application of certain provisions.
The remaining articles provide for the work of the assembly and executive committee, the administration of the Convention, budgetary arrangements, amendment and review, dispute resolution and various formalities.