GATT's Effects on Copyrights

Introduction.

Table of Contents.

  1. Computer Software Rental.

  2. Bootlegging.

  3. Copyright Restoration.

    1. Computer Software Rental.

    GATT requires that the rental right of computer programs be maintained. Therefore, a provision that provided an exemption to the first sale doctrine (and which was to expire on October 1, 1997) has been repealed.

    2. Bootlegging.

    A civil liability has been assessed to unauthorized fixation, transmission or trafficking in sound recordings and music videos of live performances. Bootleg copy trafficking has also been criminalized. The criminal provisions give penalties of up to $250,000 and up to five years imprisonment for a first offense.

    3. Copyright Restoration.

    Copyrights on works which have copyright protection in their source country but which are non-compliant with US copyright formality requirements can be restored. Examples of the formality requirements are a) omission to provide a copyright notice on publicly distributed copies, b) failure to apply for a timely registration renewal, c) lack of national eligibility, and d) lack of subject matter protection for sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972.

    Please send any email requests concerning GATT copyright provisions not dealt with above to: patents@patent-it.com.

    Last updated on 20 October 1995.