Copyright protection overseas
New Zealand is party to various international copyright agreements, including:
- The Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)
Read Annex 1C establishing the World Trade Organisation 1994
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Read the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1928 (Rome Act revision)
When an original work is protected by copyright in New Zealand, it is generally protected by under the applicable laws of countries that are also members of these agreements.
As in New Zealand, you don’t need to register for copyright protection in these countries - copyright protection arises automatically when any original work is created. Similarly, when original works are created in other countries, they are also protected in New Zealand.
Some countries, such as the United States, do have copyright registration systems. Registration may result in extra benefits for the owner.
New Zealand is not a member of the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations 1961.
However, we are a de facto member of a convention that went further than the Rome Convention to address the issue of record piracy: The Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms 1971.
Article 9 of the TRIPS Agreement incorporates Articles 1-21 of the 1971 revision.
Find out more
On the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) website: