New grounds for payment of fees to holders of copyright and related rights

New grounds for payment of fees to holders of copyright and related rights

July 06, 2022

Regulation on Amendments to the Regulation on Establishing the List of Technical Devices and Objects subject to Mandatory Payment of Special Fee to Holders of Copyright and Related rights was published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 49/2022 from 21 April 2022, and it entered into force on 29 April 2022. The respective piece of regulation has extended the list of technological devices for reproduction of audio and visual contents from the domain of copyright and related rights, i.e., for which, upon their purchase, a certain fee shall be paid (“the Regulation”).

Content of the Regulation

Namely, the Regulation establishes the List of technical devices and objects that are subject to mandatory payment of special fee to holders of copyright and related rights, which is printed along with the Regulation and represents its integral part. Accordingly, the list contains a number of different empty carriers of sound, pictures and text, as well as other devices that are subject to payment of the subject fee.

According to the respective amendments to the Regulation, devices in domain of copyright and related rights, which will be subject to payment of fee upon their purchase, now include:

  • memory cards;
  • external hard discs;
  • devices with integrated hard disc, i.e., desktop computers, laptops, TVs with hard disc, DVD players with recording option and with hard disc, and Blue-ray player with recording option and hard disc;
  • tablets; and
  • smartphones.

Right to special fee from import and sale

The Regulation is a by-law enacted with the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (Official Gazette of RS no. 104/2009, 99/2011, 119/2012, 29/2016 – decision of CC and 66/2019) (“the Law”).

According to the Law, a natural person shall be allowed, without author’s consent and without payment of author’s fee, to make copies of published work for personal and non-commercial purposes. Thus obtained copies may not be sold or used for any other form of public communication of the work.

Nevertheless, when an author’s work is copied without author’s permit, the provisions of the Law stipulate that author of the work whose nature makes it likely to be multiplied by photocopying, recording on sound, picture or text carriers for personal and non-commercial use by natural persons (literary, musical, film works, etc.) shall be entitled to a special fee from import and/or sale of technical devices and empty carriers of sound, picture and text which may be reasonably expected to be used for such multiplication.

Collective exercising of copyright and related rights

Among other, the Law regulates collective exercising of copyright and related rights, i.e., through organisation for collective exercising of such rights.

In relation thereto, the Law prescribes that the amount and manner of establishing the fee that the organisation for collective exercising of copyright and related rights shall charge to the users for certain forms of using copyright and objects of related rights, i.e., to payers of special fee, are established by the tariff as general act of such organisation.

The amount of special fee paid by a sold or imported device and object from the list may not exceed 1% of its value, except for sale or import of empty compact discs, empty digital video discs, empty digital video discs with high definition, empty blue-ray discs, empty mini discs, empty audio tapes and empty video tapes, where the amount of special fee may not exceed 3% of their value.

Conclusion

Considering all of the above, payers of this fee, i.e., fee in relation to the stated devices, shall be importers and manufacturers of the said devices.

They will pay the fee on the basis of calculation and invoice issued by SOKOJ, and the latter shall further distribute collected fees to other copyright and related organisations for collective exercising of author’s rights and holders of related rights, according to the agreements concluded with them.

However, since no fee is established for new devices in the current Tariff for Exercising the Right to Special Fee (Official Gazette of RS no. 43/2013 and 8/2017), which is enacted by the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia, SOKOJ announced that such fee will be defined in the upcoming period.

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