Bilateral Agreements

A bilateral agreement is an agreement or treaty made directly between two countries.

This is in contrast to a “multilateral” agreement or international agreement such as the Berne Convention or TRIPS. While some bilateral agreements deal exclusively with copyright, copyright provisions may be inserted in to other, larger treaties, such as peace treaties or economic treaties.

In a bilateral agreement, an author from one country can claim copyright protections in the other country. Such agreements are often used to create copyright protections or provisions that are more stringent, or more generous, than would be possible in a broadly multinational agreement.

A Berne Convention member country may enter into bilateral agreements as long as the provisions of those agreements meet the minimum standards of the Berne Convention. For instance, although it is a member of the Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement, and other multilateral agreements, the United States has bilateral agreements with many different countries.

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