Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
an international treaty providing that copyright for a work created by a citizen of a signatory nation will be respected by other signatory nations
Commonly referred to as the Berne Convention, the treaty was drawn up in Berne in 1886 and now administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The United States became a signatory nation in 1989, modifying several of its laws to comply with the treaty's terms. See http://www.wipo.int/treaties/ip/berne/index.html.