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Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection

The Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection was a European Union (EU) directive issued in 1993.

The goal was to ensure that there was a single duration for copyright monopolies across the entire EU. The chosen term was that of Germany, which had the longest copyright term of any EU state, lasting 70 years after the death of the author.

Because this extended term (longer than that requried by the Berne Convention) was made available to foreign copyright owners on the basis of reciprocity, the directive was one of the main arguments in favour of the (now highly controversial) U.S. Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.



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