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Ukraine Passes Law Improving Online Copyright Protection

Jun 1 2017 - 15:21

The new Law on State Support of Cinematography entered into force in Ukraine on April 26, 2017, amending the Law on Copyright and Related Rights.

According to the new Law, copyright owners can combat online copyright infringement by directly addressing website or webpage owners and/or Internet service providers, who, in turn, have to block the infringing material related to the use of certain works protected by copyright law, namely audiovisual and music works, computer programs, videograms, phonograms and broadcast programs.

Previously, Ukrainian legislation did not provide for any specific procedures on dealing with online infringement. Rights holders had to initiate court proceedings or submit complaints to law enforcement bodies, which made combating online infringement unnecessarily complicated, long and costly.

Website owners are now required to publish their name, address, and contact details on their websites and/or ICANN’s WHOIS Lookup. The Law also introduces liability for the refusal to block illegal content as well as for unfounded demands for blocking, including a fine in the range of EUR 300-1200.

The new Law also introduces definitions for Internet-related terms such as website, webpage, website owner, webpage owner, hyperlink, electronic (digital) information, camcording, card sharing, account, and hosting service provider.

The new Law is crucial for improving Ukraine’s position in the Special 301 Report, which identifies countries whose inadequate intellectual property protection laws present trade barriers to U.S. companies and products. Ukraine has been continuously listed as a top offender mainly for copyright-related issues such as the failure to implement an effective system to combat online piracy.

By: Yuriy Karlash

For more information, please contact Yuriy Karlash at our Ukraine office.

Source: Ukrainian Parliament website, new Law in Ukrainian language

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