Monthly report on copyright reform in Poland- March, 2013

Below we are publishing key developments in copyright reform in Poland- March, 2013.

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 published the results of public consultation on the Communication from European Commission on content in the digital single market (COM (2012) 789), which ended on the 8th of February. The draft position of the Government is currently being processed by the Committee for European Affairs.

Centrum Cyfrowe took part in the consultations. In our statement we emphasize that it is important to look at the copyright law not only from a market perspective, but also from the prospective of the public interest, implemented in particular by public institutions. We also point to the importance of extending the “Licenses for Europe” consultations beyond just license-based solutions.

 Read our statement (PDF)

2. Polish and American police led to the arrest of a young man who posted online two episodes of the cult Polish cartoon, „Przygody Koziołka Matołka” (Matołek the Billy-Goat). This animated series for children, which was popular in Poland a few decades ago, is not available on the internet in any authorized source. Polish press described this case of copyright infringement as „stealing” and stigmatized the man, calling him a „thief”. The accused faces up to two years imprisonment or a fine



3. On the 27th of March, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage organized the first meeting of the Copyright Forum (Forum Prawa Autorskiego). The Forum is devised by the Ministry as a regular (most probably bi-monthly) meeting of stakeholders interested in copyright reform. Almost 100 organisations were invited to the first meeting, including collecting societies, creators’ associations, business organisations and non-governmental organisations. The first meeting of the Forum was devoted to the issue of orphan and out-of-commerce works and the implementation into the Polish law of the Orphan Works Directive. Centrum Cyfrowe presented at the meeting key issues from its earlier statement on orphan works, which was prepared as part of consultations conducted by the Ministry in April 2012.

While we welcome every initiative that provides an opportunity for a policy debate on copyright reform, we believe the Ministry should undertake bolder steps towards conducting this much needed reform. We are worried that the Forum, a loose consultation process without formal grounding in the legislative process, will replace a real participatory process of copyright reform. We hope that the Ministry will present its own reform agenda and a timeframe for its implementation – as part of the Copyright Forum, particular policy items seem to be treated separately, without an overarching reform framework.

4. Centrum Cyfrowe took part in a public consultation on the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council conducted by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In our statement we oppose the strengthening of intellectual property rights enforcement at European level in the direction proposed by the Directive. In our opinion, changes should rather focus on a broad intellectual property law reform, rather than just IPR enforcement.

Read our statement