Amendments to Copyright and Related Rights Law

On the 18th September 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted Amendments to Copyright and Related rights Law (hereinafter: “Law”) which regulates in further detail legal protection of copyrights and related rights, and that Law become effective on 26th September 2019.

The legislative changes refer to the following:

  1. Scope of persons entitled to file a lawsuit;
  2. Interim measures;
  3. Compensation for damages;
  4. Databases
  5. Longer protection of property rights

Regarding the scope of potential plaintiffs, in addition to the author and others, claims can be brought by collective rights organizations for management of copyrights and related rights. The Law also introduces the possibility of filing a lawsuit against intermediaries, persons whose services were used in connections with infringement of copyrights or related rights.

Regarding interim measures, the Law prescribes that courts are able to impose interim measures without the prior statement of the opposing party, especially if there is a risk that the plaintiff sustains irreparable damages as a result of the delay, which significantly improves the position of right-holders from loss resulting from procedural reasons.

In respect of compensation for damages, the Law provides that the courts will consider, when estimating damages, all circumstances of the case, such as loss of profit for the plaintiff, the profit earned by the defendant through rights infringement, and, where appropriate, circumstances that do not have an economic nature, like immaterial damages. In justified cases the courts may, instead of damages, award a lump-sum compensation to commensurate to the amount that would have been received by the injured party had the use of copyright or related right been lawful.
According to the Law, databases can be considered as copyright and can be the subject of related rights, if the contents of the database reaches the level of originality that is prescribed by the law.

The Law extends the protection of property rights of performers and producers of phonograms from 50 to 70 years, counting from the death of the last surviving co-author of the composition or co-author of the text, and actors are entitled to compensation from broadcasters from broadcasting their recordings