Ion Țigănaș: Collective management organizations are obliged to maintain transparency

The collective management organizations are obliged to maintain transparency. The authors must be aware that these bodies have a mandate to administer their rights. As members of these associations, they have the right to request and receive documents explaining how their remuneration is calculated. These aspects were highlighted by lawyer Ion Țigănaș, an expert in intellectual property, during a public debate titled “Romania-Republic of Moldova, strengthening partnership in the field of intellectual property”. According to him, cooperation in the field of intellectual property with Romania can have a significant positive impact. 

Ion Țigănaș said that the importance of intellectual property started to be realized, especially by young entrepreneurs. Many businessmen now ask to have their rights protected. The expert agreed with the observation of the European Commission, which said that “the Republic of Moldova can do more in the field of enforcement of intellectual property rights, because the legislation is appropriate, but it is also important to provide measures, legal levers so that rights-holders can protect their rights”. The lawyer stressed the need to expand the partnership between the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) of the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian Copyright Office and the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks of Romania, including through the involvement of other public authorities from both banks of the Prut, especially the customs service, the police, the prosecutor’s office and the judiciary.

The expert in intellectual property said that it would be an excellent opportunity for judges from the Republic of Moldova to discuss and share experience with their counterparts from Romania, as the Romanian judges have more experience in solving cases. Such cooperation will therefore be highly beneficial and could be extended to other sectors, such as the collective management organizations. The observance of intellectual property rights in all the segments – protection on border, protection on the internal market and in disputes - is a top priority for Moldova’s faster integration into the European Union.

Ion Țigănaș noted that the collective management system is the most correct and efficient form through which authors’ rights can be administered. If the authors are dissatisfied with the work of collective management organizations (CMOs), they have legal levers through which they can obtain information on the calculation of remuneration. The first thing is to contact these bodies to which they belong and ask for information. “If they are not satisfied with this information or if they notice that the data presented by the CMO is not relevant or correct - for example, they saw that a radio station in the Republic of Moldova broadcast their song very often, but the data presented by the CMO doesn’t present such information - a question arises as to how correctly this analysis was made. In this case, the author should not give up. In addition to addressing the CMO’s administration, they can make a request to AGEPI, for example, asking to draw attention to this fact when inspecting these bodies,” said the expert.

The lawyer stated that the process of joining the European Union does not mean a blind transposition of the legislation. It is a balanced, correct transposition discussed in society, since, after integration, the Republic of Moldova will have to implement these laws. There should be developed strong, professional institutions that react promptly and correctly when rights are violated. The citizens must also understand the importance of intellectual property and must refuse to illegally download content from the Internet and purchase counterfeit goods.

The public debate entitled “Romania-Republic of Moldova, strengthening partnership in the field of intellectual property” was the eighth installment of the project “Double integration through cooperation and information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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