Monthly report on copyright reform in Poland- June, 2013

Below we are publishing key developments in copyright reform in Poland. June, 2013.
The project is conducted with the support of Open Society Foundations. Most of the links lead to content in Polish.
1. On the 6th of June,the Ministry of Culture organized second meeting of the Copyright Law Forum (Forum Prawa Autorskiego). The discussion was devoted (as the first one in March) to the implementation of the orphan works Directive 2012/28/UE and out-of-commerce works. On this meeting the Ministry proposed the initial changes in regulation in this topic, which are based on the statements collected during the recent public consultation of the issue. It is worth noting that those proposals go beyond the EU regulations. According to the Ministry’s proposal, for cases referred in the Directive the use of these works will be possible on the basis of exceptions and limitations of copyright law. In other cases, using the works will be possible on the basis of a non-exclusive license for a limited time, where an obligatory fee is charged. This royalty would go to the budget of collecting societies and then to the public domain payant institution called The Fund for Promotion of Creativity (Fundusz Promocji Twórczości). If the copyright holder can not be found, the money would be transferred to scholarships and other forms of promoting culture.
 Read more
2. On the 5th of June, main Polish broadcasters signed an agreement on the implementation of facilities in television programs for people with hearing and visual impairments. The agreement was established in connection with the amendment of the Polish Law on Radio and Television Broadcasting, which requires broadcasters to provide services for people with visual and hearing impairments to facilitate the reception of the programs.
3. In June, two main Polish film studios (Tor and Kadr) made freely available on their YouTube channels over 60 films of classic Polish cinema. Each studio will keep working on adding gradually more movies, which altogether are to number over 800 in a joint collection.This is the first agreement of such type between Polish film studios and YouTube – and as such is closely watched by all sides interested in the issue of availability of content online.
 Read more
4. At the end of June, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage ended a consultation period on the regulations of exceptions and limitations of copyright law and rules of sharing public domain works by public cultural and educational institutions. The Ministry is reviewing those regulations to identify difficulties in current work of cultural, educational and research institutions. This is an issue that for a long time seemed to be neglected by the Ministry – and we thus welcome this proposal. However, the consultation process was in our opinion puzzling, as the Ministry did not present any analisys of assumptions on these issues.
 Read our statement (PL)
5. On 20th of June, The Polish Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (Związek Przedsiębiorców i Pracodawców ) released a report criticizing the idea of openness of public resources, including in particular the creation of open textbooks. The main thesis of the report is that the introduction of open textbooks will lead to the collapse of the publishing market and the loss of 100,000 jobs. The Union’s document is not supported by any economic analysis and grossly overestimates, without proof the value of the publishing sector and the extent to which employment will be affected. It assumes that each child using an open textbook means certain loss for book publishers, the printing industry, paper manufactures and even transport services. Furthermore, the Union misrepresents OECD research on e-textbook initiatives in Europe.
Read more
6.The Polish collecting society – Association of Authors ZAIKS has sued the organizers of New Year’s Eve events for copyright infringement caused by public performance without payment. Under the copyright law they were demanding triple the normal licensing value of works as remuneration. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of collecting societies. According to the court opinion, information about the event itself is not enough to claim damages for copyright infringement and the Association would have to prove, which exact works have been used without permission.
7. Currently in Poland, over 8 different collecting societies can charge for the music playing in the stores, hairdressers, restaurants or hotels. To simplify these rules, the collecting societies have prepared a new royalties tables for the public performance of music. According to them, the entrepreneur will pay a fee only once and under only one contract. Ministry of Culture and National Heritage supports the proposal.