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International Copyright Act 1886 and the Berne Convention

In 1875 a Royal Commission suggested that the present Acts should be improved and codified and strongly advised the Government to enter into a bilateral copyright agreement with America to provide reciprocal protection of British and United States authors.

After preparatory work had been carried out for the forthcoming Conference of Powers (resulting in the framing of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works), the International Copyright Act of 1886 was passed.

The 1886 Act abolished the requirement to register foreign works and introduced an exclusive right to import or produce translations.

British copyright law was extended to works produced in British possessions. The United Kingdom (UK) ratified the Berne Convention with effect from 5 December 1887.