8. Do I have copyright in my work in other countries?


Copyright law is territorial, meaning that the rules that matter are the rules of your own country. However, there are international agreements which protect your work under the laws of most other countries.

Signatories to the Berne Convention (UK has been a signatory since 1887) recognise the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries in the same way as it would recognise the copyright of its own nationals. This means that UK copyright law will apply to a work published or performed in the UK, although it may have originated in Italy. This is because both UK and Italy are signatories to the Berne Convention.

If the work is copied in another jurisdiction, it will first depend on whether the copied work can come under one of the copyright exceptions of the international agreements (see below). Where a work is copied within a European Member State, the current regulation states the case will generally be heard on where the person lives or is domiciled. If the copying has been done outside the European Union and it leads to a court case, then, the law of that relevant jurisdiction, where the copying took place will apply.

See: The Berne ConventionTrade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS)WIPO Copyright Treaty



Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control the use of their work and the ability to earn from it. The term ‘exclusive’ in copyright law means…

Copyright Bites

Copyright Bites is a series of short videos that makes copyright law and policy easier to understand, exploring the relationship between copyright and the public domain.


Useful guidance on what you can do if you think someone has infringed your copyright, or if someone has accused you of copyright infringement.