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Changes in copyright law. Appeal to the Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia

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The Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications (PIKE) has asked the Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, not to add an item to the agenda of the current session of the lower house, which was to consider the report of the committee on the draft amendment to the copyright law. The industry chambers of commerce have issued a statement on the “non-transparent way of proceeding with changes to the act”.

“The Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media, at a meeting closed to the public, adopted in the first reading an amendment to the amendment to the copyright law that had not been consulted with the market – the introduction of additional royalties for rebroadcasting” – emphasized in a statement PIKE, the National Chamber of Ethernet Communications, the Association of Employers of Electronic Media and Telecommunications Mediakom and the Polish Cable Television Association Chamber of Commerce.

They added that this change alone “is expected to burden Polish telecommunications entrepreneurs with another PLN 40 million annually for the benefit of collective management organizations, in addition to the PLN 200 million already paid for re-broadcasting (an increase of 20 percent).”

Changes in copyright law. “Outrage” from operators' representatives

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“As representatives of operators, we are outraged by the non-transparency of the legislative process at the last stage of implementation of EU law. Such a harmful amendment appeared and was adopted only on June 19, 2024, and after a week – from June 26, 2024 – further readings of the draft bill may take place “Work on the implementation of EU directives lasted over 3 years and such an additional obligation for re-issuers had never been announced before,” the statement read.

It was added that “such a postulate was not even supported by all authorized entities (OZZ – collective management organizations), and was clearly assessed critically by the market side as being contrary to EU regulations and leading to negative consequences”, and yet “at the last moment the amendment “was reported at a closed committee meeting in the presence of several MPs and a lobbyist of OZZ actors”.

“We therefore appeal for not adding to the agenda of the next session of the Sejm a further reading of the draft amendment to copyright law containing this 'instrument'. Time is needed for everyone affected by the proposed amendment to be able to comment on it,” the statement emphasized.

The organizations recalled that “there are several hundred re-issuers in Poland, most of them operate locally, as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises” and “currently incur high costs related to adapting their activities to the revolutionary changes in electronic communications law.”

“Imposing such high additional fees would be another blow from which most people might not recover. Deficit activities, such as broadcasting local programs, which are so positively received by the public, would certainly have to be limited,” the statement said.

There was also a call to “submit and adopt an amendment restoring the project to the shape from the government submission.”


Appeal to Marshal Szymon Hołownia

“We appeal not to add to the agenda of the 14th session of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland on June 26-28, 2024, the item 'Report of the Committee on Culture and Media on the government draft act amending the Act on copyright and related rights and certain other acts (forms no. 406 and 467)' and its introduction at the earliest only at the next session of the Sejm,” PIKE wrote in its appeal.

It was also added: “We justify our appeal by the adoption on June 19, 2024, at the last stage of implementation of European Union law, at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media, closed to the public, of a parliamentary amendment to the amendment to copyright law, which was not consulted with the market, and which will result in the most significant financial consequences, as well as far-reaching negative consequences for society. It is about adding to Article 70(2) of the Act (Article 1, point 17 of the draft act in the committee's report), introducing additional remuneration for certain entitled persons for rebroadcasting. .


The EU Copyright Directive

Work on changes to copyright law is ongoing in the Sejm. The draft amendment was discussed by a parliamentary committee on June 19. Amendments were adopted regarding the right to appropriate and fair remuneration and royalties for rebroadcasting the work.

Read more: Changes in copyright law at the next stage of work >>>

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 of 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 in 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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