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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Changes in copyright law adopted by the Sejm

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The Sejm passed an amendment to the Copyright and Related Rights Act on Friday, which implements two EU directives into Polish law. The act was widely commented on and awaited in the creators' community.

417 MPs voted in favor of the act and its amendments, 18 were against and one person abstained from voting. The bill will now go to the Senate.

Copyright Act passed with amendments

The first of the amendments adopted by the Sejm assumes an increase from three percent to 25 percent. the volume of the work that may be used to illustrate the content for teaching or scientific purposes “provided that such use is not for profit and is carried out under the responsibility of these institutions or entities, on their premises or elsewhere, or for through a secure electronic environment available, thanks to the use of authentication procedures, only for students and teachers or those conducting research activities in a given institution or entity.

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The Sejm also agreed to adopt an amendment that replaces the wording “artists and performers” in the words: “creators and performers” and assumes that the authors of the study of a “literary, journalistic, scientific, musical or verbal-musical work” are also entitled to appropriate remuneration.

The meeting also included votes on, among others: amendments submitted by the Left, which were intended to protect the interests of journalists and press publishers. However, they did not receive support.

– The press is currently in danger of being starved by digital giants, and there will be more journalists being laid off – said Daria Gosek-Popiołek (Left), appealing for the adoption of the amendments. – This act can help all media and can strengthen our resistance to disinformation as a society – she emphasized.

Appeal from leading publishers

Earlier, a group of leading publishers on the Polish market sent an appeal to parliamentarians. “We appeal for the draft implementation of the directive to include provisions that will enable Polish publishers to continue operating in Poland and compete on equal terms with technology giants,” wrote the publishers' representatives.

“The current project is disadvantageous for Polish media. It worsens their situation and may consequently lead to the collapse of many media companies. It may also force them to function in a model in which access to credible content will be exclusively paid, which will pose a threat to fundamental democratic values, to media pluralism, and will open space for disinformation and manipulation. For the good of Poland and democracy, we cannot allow this,” they added.

Read also: “The project is disadvantageous for Polish media”. An appeal to MPs and senators>>>

Amendments regarding remuneration

On June 19, during work on the act, the Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Media also adopted amendments requested by organizations associating artists, including: regarding remuneration for rebroadcasting the work and adding provisions regarding fair remuneration appropriate to the benefits arising from the use of the work.

– The catalogue of professions that will be covered by royalties has also been extended to include performers of literary, journalistic, scientific, musical or verbal-musical works, and amendments have been introduced aimed at, among other things, setting a cut-off date from which the right to exploit works that are not commercially available may arise – said the rapporteur of the committee, KO MP Maciej Wróbel.

He informed that “the name of the act itself has also been clarified, which after the changes concerns 'amending the Act on copyright and related rights, the Act on database protection and the Act on collective management of copyright and related rights'”.

Andrzej Wyrobiec, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, pointed out that the act in its current version responds to the demands submitted during the parliamentary proceedings and “significantly protects the interests of Polish creators and performers.”

– In the opinion of the ministry, the expected balance of interests of entitled entities – creators, artists, performers and users of rights has been achieved. As the government side, we supported the rational and law-compliant proposals of the parliamentary amendments. (…) I declare that all important issues not addressed during the current amendment will be included in the agenda of the Copyright Forum (…) This is a platform whose task will be to review all provisions of Polish copyright law leading to a broad amendment of the acts – he said.

Poland is the last country implementing European directives

Poland is the last European Union country that has not implemented two EU directives on copyright and related rights in the digital single market. Current regulations are outdated, do not keep up with technological development and do not cover the Internet and streaming platforms.

Two directives of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, to be implemented into national law, were adopted on 17 April 2019.

The first of them, called the SATCAB II directive, is intended to create conditions enabling wider dissemination in Member States of television and radio programs originating from other Member States.

The second one, called the DSM directive, was the EU's response to the challenges related to the development of digital technologies in the area of ​​copyright. The regulations introduce, among others: new forms of fair use of works, objects of related rights and databases (text and data mining, reproduction for the preservation of cultural heritage collections) and significantly modify the forms already existing in EU law (use of works for the purposes of distance education). “This directive also introduces new rules on the remuneration of authors and performers, aimed at ensuring that the remuneration due to them is fair,” the draft states.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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