Monthly report on copyright reform in Poland- April and May, 2013

April and May have been relatively slow months with regard to copyright related developments in Poland. Thus we’re publishing a joint, bi-monthly overview of the events.  The project is conducted with the support of Open Society Foundations. Most of the links lead to content in Polish.

1. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has announced a consultation process on the working document SCCR/24/10 for a Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations. As declared by the Ministry, the outcome of the consultations was to be taken into account while developing the Polish position for the meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. The list of the submitted statements is available on the Ministry website . However, the Polish position on this issue is still not available to the public.
Centrum Cyfrowe as a Polish affiliate of Creative Commons opposes the adoption of an international Treaty of the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations, which impose additional restrictions on the use of the broadcast, regardless of the copyright, which broadcasters are already entitled to. Thus, the Treaty would restrict free circulation of works under Creative Commons licenses, freedom of atists and public interest (read our statement PL).
2. As we reported in the March news, the first meeting of the copyright Forum was devoted to the issue of orphan and out-of-commerce works. In April, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage issued another questionnaire to the participants of the Forum with detailed questions about the implementation of the of the Orphan Works Directive. Results of consultations will be taken into account in establishing the rules concerning the use of orphan works and to provide better access to the out-of-commerce works.
3. In early mid-May, Centrum Cyfrowe and Miasto W Komie have launched a new project Kultura Ponad Prawem (“Culture above the Law”). Miasto w Komie is a collective of Polish filmmakers led by Cezary Ciszewski, which works with mobile technologies on documentary projects. As part of the project, we recorded twenty interviews with Polish creators: filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, writers and curators. We talk with themabout their work in the Internet era: about copyright, piracy, making money, giving away for free, creating and borrowing from others. The movies will be subtitled in English by the end of June.
4. Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, has refered a letter to the Minister of Justice in which he supports the creation of national specialized courts dealing only with cases in the field of intellectual property law (so called intellectual property courts). Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski is claiming that existence of such a court „is crucial for innovation in modern economies. Moreover, it would provide inventors and creators legal security of their work and would help to harmonize the law in the country in the field of IPR, as today rulings differ in courts even in same or similar cases”. The first letter in this case Minister Zdrojewski issued in January this year, to the previous Minister of Justice.
5. In mid-May, in Warsaw, a group of publishers, broadcasters and artists created an alliance called Kreatywna Polska (ang. Creative Poland). In their manifesto, creators stressed that their main goal is to work out a program that „will give the proper importance to authors and researchers of the young generation and will support the Polish creative industry”. Kreatywna Polska is claiming that the alliance was established due to the lack of response from the Prime Minister to the letter, which was addressed to him at the beginning of this year. The main concern of the authors was in that time raised by a proposal by the Ministry of Administration and Digitization for a bill on the openness of public resources, as well as adraft amendment on the act on Rendering Electronic Services (which provides safe harbours to internet intermediaries). In their opinion, these proposals undermine the protection of intellectual property and lead to a deprivation of authors and publishers of their rights.
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