Extraordinary session to adopt amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related rights

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has scheduled the 16th extraordinary session for September 09, 2019. that is still ongoing. At the extraordinary session, the members of the parliament will, among other things, discuss the Bill amending the Copyright and Related Rights Act (the “Law“).

The Law entered the parliamentary procedure on February 08, 2019 after the Government proposed it. The Law aims at establishing a more efficient system of copyright and related rights protection in Serbia. The proposed changes to the Law are in line with the legal regulations in the European Union. With this Law, certain norms of the current law have been enhanced, while the proposed amendments, among other things, relate to the improvement of the collective exercise of copyright and related rights, as well as to the strengthening of their legal protection. The proposed amendments widen the circle of persons who can sue for infringement of copyright and related rights. The Law also introduce changes to the imposition of security measures. So one of the novelties is that the court may order a temporary measure of seizure of movable and immovable property, as well as a prohibition on the payment from the account of the person against whom the provisional measure was proposed, in the case where the infringement was made on a commercial basis. All amendments to the Law relating to civil protection are intended to ensure an effective fight against infringement of copyright and related rights. This fight is particularly focused on cases of infringement of rights that occur in the form of organized crime. The second aim of this novelty is certainly to provide more effective reparation to the injured parties. Certain novelties also envisage copyright and related rights restrictions. The provisions relating to the collective management of copyright organization have been clarified and more comprehensive. These changes reduce the ability of the organization to make decisions arbitrarily, especially with respect to the distribution of revenue collected. Regarding the revocation of an organization’s operating license, the Law clearly states and defines two grounds of serious misconduct and repeated misconduct. It also specified the provision regarding the reports submitted by the collective management organization to the Intellectual Property Office, which enabled the Office to better fulfill its control function. The Law also specifies that protection is enjoyed by a computer program along with supporting technical documentation and user manual.

Looking at the proposed amendments to the Law, one could say that the primary aim of the legislator is certainly to comply with EU regulations, because a great number of amendments were devoted to it. In addition, the aim of the legislator also is to positively influence the protection of the economic interest of both authors and organizations for the collective management of copyright, which will, among other things, be achieved by improving the collective enjoyment of copyright and related rights.