Serbia Adopts Copyright Law Amendments

Jan 27 2012 - 11:55

Last month the Serbian parliament adopted several amendments to the 2009 Law on Copyright and Related Rights, in order to fully harmonize it with the European Union (EU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations. The amendments entered into force on January 4, 2012.

The most important changes concern the provisions on copyright limitations. The initial version of the law prescribes that within the scope of informing the public about current events, it is permissible to make copies of a work, as well as to communicate the work in all other forms to the public, through the press, radio and television, without the author’s permission and without remuneration. With the amendments, the limitation refers not only to the press, radio and television, but covers other media as well, inter alia including the Internet.

The amendments also introduce the possibility to reproduce a literary work in whole for personal, non-commercial purposes, if the work has been out of print for minimum two years. Before the amendments, such reproduction was limited to excerpts of a copyrighted work. Along those lines, the law now more adequately regulates the widespread practice of illegal copying of textbooks used for educational purposes.

Furthermore, the section of the law related to the protection of databases is regulated in more detail. The law precisely prescribes what this protection encompasses as well as the rights and obligations of the authorized user of the database.

The amendments have also been introduced to provisions regulating the use of optical discs in proceedings before courts or other authorities. Namely, before the amendments, the law prescribed that a work on the optical disc could be reproduced for the said purposes, but such reproduction was practically impossible as optical discs are protected with relevant technical measures. With the amendments, the holder making use of the technical protection measures is obliged to remove or alter the measures in order to enable persons entitled by the law to have access to the content.

Droit de Suite, author’s right to be informed of and to receive remuneration for the resale of the work, is now regulated in more detail. It is defined what is considered to be an original piece of art. Also, the law now clearly prescribes that the provisions should be applied to any transactions involving those who professionally trade with artistic works, such as showrooms, art galleries, auction houses and similar institutions.

For more information, please contact Ana Stojanovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: The local text of the law

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