What About Copyright Protection in Foreign Countries?
American writers do have copyright protection in foreign countries, but it is limited, and not necessarily the same as in the U.S. The U.S. is part of the Berne Convention—the oldest, most important, and effective multilateral treaty governing international copyright policy. You do not have to do anything to get this protection. It is automatic—just like U.S. copyright protection—when your piece reaches a tangible form.
The copyright protection each county affords is based on their own laws, so it varies. Most provide what is called “national treatment.” This basically means you will have the same protection the citizens of that country have. If you are distributing your work to a specific country, you may want to check out exactly what kind of protection you will have.