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What is the Berne Convention?

The Berne Convention, which is the short name for the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, is an international treaty that has been joined by over 100 nations. By joining the Berne Convention, a nation agrees to give the same level of copyright protection to literary and artistic works from other signing nations as it gives to its own literary and artistic works. Although the Berne Convention was originally signed on September 9, 1886 (in Berne, Switzerland, which is where the name comes from), the United States did not join until 1989.