Amendments to copyright & other intellectual property laws

Recently adopted Law no. 74/2018 aims to comply with the requirements of Directive no. 2014/26 / EU on the collective management of copyright and related rights and the granting of multi-territory licenses for music rights for online use in the internal market (“Directive”). The objective of the Directive is to regulate the legal aspects that govern the organization, functioning, and operation of copyright management organizations and related rights and to regulate how to obtain and use multi-territory licenses for musical works for online use in the internal market.

The Directive was adopted to protect the interests of members of collective management bodies, rights-holders, and third parties.  The new rules intend to provide a high level of protection for copyright holders by establishing a legal framework to protect the content protected by these rights

The main elements of the law are:

  • The concept of “user” is defined as any natural or legal person who takes actions authorized by authors or right-holders and who pay for those rights and do not act as a consumer;
  • The term of “publication of a phonogram for commercial purposes” is clarified by defining a phonogram as an item published for commercial purposes and available to the public by sale by wire or wireless means so that anyone can have access at any place or any time;
  • Clarifies that the author or owner of the copyright or related rights may exercise the rights recognized by Law no. 8/1996 either individually or collectively;
  • Creates the right for authors or rightsholders to contract by agreement to manage the rights of independent management entities. These provisions also apply to for-profit companies.
  • Redefines the concept of a collective management body and includes in the category of collectively managed rights for granting of licenses.
  • The new regulations in the field intend to make the collective management bodies act in the collective interest of the authors and right-holders they represent,
  • To ensure the transparency and protection of authors, entities have been assigned several obligations regarding the information they must communicate to both the authors, the right holders with whom they have managed management contracts, and other entities of collective management with which they are linked. Also, the entities have the obligation to submit to the Romanian Office for Copyright (“ORDA“) a report on the activity carried out.
  • Establishment of a supervisory body at the level of each collective management body, for monitoring and permanent monitoring of the activity carried out by the collective management body, by the general manager, and by the board of directors.
  • Introduces several provisions regarding the negotiation of the methodologies for paying the remuneration due by the users of the works, as well as those regarding the composition of the negotiating committees of these methodologies.
  • The arbitration procedure is eliminated. If the parties don’t establish dispute resolution mechanisms through negotiation, then a mediation procedure is designated.
  • For the purpose of enacting the provisions of the Directive on multi-territorial licenses, the Law no. 8/1996 includes a new section (Title III, Chapter I, Section IV) that covers the concept of a multi-territorial license, licensing, and licensing activity and the obligations of the body managing multi-territorial licensed works.
  • A multi-territorial license is a license for the reproduction right and the right of public communication that includes the right to make available to the public on the Internet or other computer networks materials, and it applies to the territory of member states of the European Union.
  • ORDA will monitor compliance with copyright legislation and related rights, including by allowing access to the IT system of collecting societies, and it will work with similar authorities in the Member States to monitor the application of EU copyright law and related rights.
  • Law no. 74/2018 amending Law no. 8/1996 on copyright and related rights was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, no. 268 on March 27, 2018.
Stratulat Albulescu - Attorneys at law