Bill on copyright was drafted based on misleading and is against authors, statement

The bill that is designed to harmonize the legislation in the field of copyright and related rights with the regulations of the Community acquis was drafted based on misleading and is against the authors, said representatives of the “Copyright” National Association and the National Association of Phonogram Producers and Performers. According to them, the provisions of the EU Directives were copied without taking into account the existing provisions of the national legislation and the realities in the Republic of Moldova, in the absence of an expert appraisal on the part of international organizations operating in the field.

In a news conference at IPN, Eugeniu Turuta, a member of the Association for Reproduction Rights (ADERO), said the draft law on copyright and the related rights fully excludes any protection in the Republic of Moldova of the works whose authors are not citizens of the Republic of Moldova or do not reside here. “So, in fact we want to integrate into the European Union, on the one hand. On the other hand, we do not protect in the Republic of Moldova any work of citizens of the European Union, the United States or any other country that signed the Berne Convention, which was signed by the Republic of Moldova too and which guarantees protection,” noted Eugeniu Turuta.

According to him, the bill excludes the right of the author or copyright holder to use the own work, which actually means a violation of Article 1 of the Additional Protocol to the ECHR. Also, it limits the rights of copyright holders or other categories of authors through the replacement of the term “recovery” with “utilization” in the text of the law. It excludes the rights of authors and other categories of copyright holders to ask for the recognition of the rights and of violations of their rights. This means the authors will be unable to defend their rights in court. Also, the bill obliges the copyright holders to prove that content of their works was part of the content distributed by online service providers, but this cannot be done in practice.

Octavian Coteț, a member of the Assembly of Delegates of the “Copyright” National Association, said the current law provides that those who produce and those who consume agree particular minimum charges. “This mechanism works. We now stably receive these remunerations, not as earlier. We earlier simply refused to receive them as the procedure was so humiliating that we didn’t understand what was going on. Now this works and we come together and reports are provided. But the new law removes these minimum charges and obliges us to have a bargaining relationship with the consumer when we need to come to terms on the remunerations,” stated Octavian Coteț, calling on the MPs not to hurry to take decisions as there are international commissions that can give a verdict and can provide expertise.

Singer Alexandru Lozanciuc, a member of the Assembly of Delegates of “Copyright”, said it is hard to defend copyright. A jurist made an attempt and in two months ascertained that at least three states do not have agreements with the Republic of Moldova and the attempt to do justice failed. He had a successful experience only in Romania, where he was remunerated for copyright. 

Music producer Sergey Orlov, a member of the Board of “Copyright”, noted that the new provisions say any organization can receive notices concerning the collection of taxes for copyright. For example, anyone who has two-three registered songs will be able to collect money, alongside such an association as “Copyright” that represents hundreds of artists, composers, singers and other categories of members.

“Copyright” Association chairman Liviu Știrbu called on the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova not to hurry to adopt the draft law on copyright and related rights as the National Anticorruption Center warned about the corruptible character of the bill, about the risk of corruption and integrity incidents, noting that the provisions of the bill should be revised in terms of conception. Also, the Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Corruption said that a number of the provisions should be reviewed so that they meet the quality criteria: accessibility, predictability and clarity.

Note: IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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