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International and European law

The United Kingdom (UK) is a member of several international conventions in the copyright field.

The main international copyright treaty is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Both this and the Rome Convention (the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations) are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). (In the case of the Rome Convention, this is jointly with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNESCO).

The UK is a party to both of these conventions and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), which is administered by UNESCO. The UK is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and, therefore, adheres to the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which lays down minimum standards of protection in all areas of intellectual property, including copyright and related rights.

The European Commission External Link have also introduced several directives and regulations relating to copyright. These have been implemented by the UK and can be found in the table below.

List of directives and regulations relating to Copyright, which have been introduced by the European Commission. The date the directive or regulation was introduced is in the first column. Read along a row to see the reference and description.
Date Directive/Regulation Description
16 December 1986 Council Directive
87/54/EEC
Legal Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products
14 May 1991 Council Directive
91/250/EEC
Legal Protection of Computer Programs
19 November 1992 Council Directive
92/100/EEC
Rental Right and Lending Right and Certain Rights Related to Copyright in the Field of Intellectual Property.
27 September 1993 Council Directive
93/83/EEC
Coordination of Certain Rules Concerning Copyright Applicable to Satellite Broadcasting and Cable Transmission
29 October 1993 Council Directive
93/98/EEC
Harmonising the Term of Protection of Copyright and Certain Related Rights
11 March 1996 Directive
96/9/EC
On the Legal Protection of Databases
22 December 1994 Council Regulation
3295/94
Measures to prohibit the release for free circulation, export, re-export or entry for a suspensive procedure of counterfeit and pirated goods
20 November 1998 Directive
98/84/EC
On the Legal Protection of services based on, or consisting of, Conditional Access
25 January 1999 Council Regulation
241/1999
Measures to prohibit the release for free circulation, export, re-export or entry for a suspensive procedure of counterfeit and pirated goods
22 May 2001 Directive
2001/29/EC
On the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society
27 September 2001 Directive
2001/84/EC
On the Resale Right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art (droit de suite)
29 April 2004 Directive
2004/48/EC
On the enforcement of intellectual property right