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New Macedonian Copyright Law Treats Copyright Infringement as Criminal Offense

Nov 29 2010 - 10:54

The new Law on Copyright and Related Rights entered into force in Macedonia on September 8, 2010. Macedonia had the obligation to harmonize its regulations with the EU acquis as part of its Strategy for Intellectual Property (2009-2012).

A significant change is that the new law, in accordance with the EU Enforcement Directive, treats copyright infringement as a criminal offense and not as a misdemeanor. For this crime, the law foresees a prison sentence of six months to five years for natural persons, and a fine for legal entities. The court is also given the possibility to prohibit copyright infringers from further exercising their business activities.

The new law is more precise and more structured than the previous one. The new regulations are meant to de-monopolize copyright collectives, which guarantee more effective protection and enforcement of copyrights. So far, in practice, a single copyright collective for authors and composers of musical works had a monopoly in copyright protection.

The law also abolishes copyright protection for theatrical producers. This change was made in accordance with comparative practices, which showed that these copyrights are considered most abstract and are not recognized in most legal systems.

The new copyright law also sets more realistic copyright levies that should be paid to artists for use of their copyrighted works by third parties, and it clearly lists all possible cases of free use of copyrighted works.

For more information, please contact Zivka Kostovska-Stojkovska at our Macedonia office.

Source: PETOŠEVIĆ

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