Monthly report on copyright reform in Poland- October, 2013

October was a relatively busy month when it comes to the reform of copyright law in Poland. Below we are publishing short overview of key events. The project is conducted with the support of Open Society Foundations. Most of the links lead to content in Polish.

1. October began with the third Copyright Law Forum, which is a regular meeting of stakeholders interested in copyright reform devised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. This one was devoted to the issues connected with exceptions and limitations of copyright and public lending right. The starting points for the debate were the results of public consultation, in which their positions reported more than 50 entities.
Participants were discussing if Polish regulations on exceptions and limitations of copyright law can have greater flexibility in regard to the EU directives and international agreements, but the regulation of public lending right turned out to be the most urgent. At the moment Poland is one of tree EU countries, which have not yet implemented the rules of Directive 2006/115/EC. This lead to the questions about the way of implementing the law and discussions whether the system of public lending right should be subject to all the libraries in Poland or what kind of exceptions should be granted. Many participants emphasized that the first step is to take care of the paper book editions, and only then the system should be extended to e-books, phonograms and videograms. Although the debate about public lending right has just begun, the Minister of Culture assured, that as in most EU countries Poland will compensate the fees with public money. It means users and libraries wont’t be directly charged.
2. On the 23th of October, at the meeting of the parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage presented the report “The implementation of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights”. Next year is the 20th anniversary of adaption of the Polish Law on Copyright and Related Rights, so it is a good time to give it thorough analysis and necessary amendements – said the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – Piotr Żuchowski. The report presents the current state and describes the initiatives held by the ministry department of Intellectual Property. There are also indicated all areas of copyright law, which require changes like reform of functioning of the Copyright Commission, establishment of special departments in courts dealing with issues of intellectual property and revision of the annual reports of collecting societies . The amendments will also arrange for the area of orphan works . Ministry of Culture – as explained by Żuchowski – is working on regulations that „provide access to many valuable cultural heritage”. The report also contains an information on private copying levies, civil enforcement of intellectual propery or the ongoing work on EU directives. The document was prepared at the request of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media . The last time the commission has asked the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to provide information on the implementation of the Copyright Act in 2006. The Ministry will present a draft amendment to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights at the end of this year or early 2014.
3. Centrum Cyfrowe welcomes the social dialogue on the exceptions and limitations of the copyright law. In our statement we refer in detail to the specific proposals for changes contained in the report  “The implementation of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights” presented to the parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media. 
 Read our statement
4. In the beggining of October the Modern Poland Foundation organized second edtition of CopyCamp conference . This year the meeting was devoted to search of practical solutions for the creative sector and analysis of the copyright law from the anthropological, sociological and economic perspective. The keynote speaker was Eben Moglen professor of Law and Legal History at the Columbia University in New York.
5. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has published new base of courts decisions on copyright and related rights. The goal was to faciliate the search, especially for people who are not experts in this field. In addition every judgement has a brief summary. Ministry intends to keep the base updated.