Croatia Drafts New Copyright Act

May 28 2020 - 16:51

The new draft Croatian Copyright and Related Rights Act was up for public discussion from April 17 to May 17, 2020 via the Croatian government public consultation portal “e-Savjetovanja” (“e-Consultations”).

The draft law intends to implement into Croatian legislation the Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market (EU Copyright Directive) and the Directive (EU) 2019/789 applicable to online transmissions of broadcasting organizations and retransmissions of television and radio programs. Both directives came into force on June 7, 2019, and all EU member states are required to pass appropriate legislation to meet the directives’ requirements by June 7, 2021.

While the EU Copyright Directive did not introduce any new rights for copyright holders, it aims to ensure the digital world abides by certain rules, while also striking a fair balance between the rights and interests of the copyright holders and the users’ freedom of expression. The Copyright Directive centers around the following main topics: online content-sharing service providers’ obligations, press publishers’ rights, cross-border use of educational materials, and text and data mining.

The new Croatian Copyright and Related Rights Act transposes both EU directives into national legislation, and in particular regulates digital and cross-border use of protected content and lays down the rules on the exceptions and limitations to copyright and related rights, as well as the rules for the exploitation of copyrighted works.

Once the new Croatian Act comes into force, the protection of copyright in the digital market will be clearly regulated, with some exceptions and limitations in the areas of teaching, research and preservation of cultural heritage.

Online content-sharing service providers like Google and Facebook will be obliged to obtain an authorization, through a licensing agreement or otherwise, from right holders who should receive appropriate remuneration for the use of their works.

In addition, the new Act lays down the rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to online transmissions of broadcasting organizations and retransmissions of television and radio programs.

The Act also introduces new rights for press publishers, enabling them to license their work and enforce their rights in the digital environment.

Another important change proposed by the new Act is the new regulation on copyright for works created in the course of employment. In the current Copyright and Related Rights Act, unless otherwise specified in the employment contract or another agreement, the copyright belongs to the author, while according to the new Act, the copyright belongs to the employer.

The proposed Croatian Copyright and Related Rights Act should be adopted by the Croatian Parliament, which was dissolved on May 18, 2020 and will not be constituted until after the parliamentary election scheduled for July 5, 2020, so it is not expected that the Act will enter into force before the end of 2020.

By: Vanja Caratan-Krenedić

For more information, please contact Vanja Caratan-Krenedić at our Croatia office.

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