Message to the Senate Transmitting the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

June 18, 1986

To the Senate of the United States:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to accession, I transmit herewith the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Convention.

The Convention obligates States party to the Convention to maintain high levels of protection for artistic works. The extent of protected works is broad, ranging from conventional works -- such as books, motion pictures, and music -- to new technological works including audio and video cassettes, and computer-related works. The Convention contains detailed provisions that specify minimum levels of protection to be provided by member countries.

Adherence to the Convention by the United States will demonstrate our commitment to improving international protection afforded intellectual property. When we are urging other countries to enhance copyright protection, the United States can no longer remain outside the Berne Union. It is, therefore, a matter of some urgency that the United States finally join the Berne Convention.

As indicated in the report of the Department of State, implementation of the Convention will require legislation. Until this legislation is enacted, the United States instrument of accession will not be deposited with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent to accession.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

June 18, 1986.