Polish Government Drafts IP Law Reform 13/05/2015 by Jaroslaw Adamowski for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)“Polish Patent Office – sculpture” by Daniel Koć (Kocio) – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 WARSAW — More than twenty years after Poland’s parliament passed the Authors’ and Related Rights law of 1994, the Polish government is drafting three bills to modify the country’s intellectual property legislation. The first of the drafts prepared by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National heritage was submitted to the Parliament in March, and is currently being deliberated, while the ministry is finishing work on the remaining two drafts. Under the plan, the Polish Parliament is to vote on the three draft bills by the end of its current term, with the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Poland scheduled to be held in October, according to senior ministry officials. “I hope that all the drafts will be passed by voting before the end of the current term,” Karol Koscinski, the director of the ministry’s Intellectual Property and Media Department, told [available here in Polish] local news site Money.pl. The government aims to introduce a number of major changes. These include the proposals to extend the right to quote written works, introduce payments to authors for library leases of their works, and enable cultural institutions to use the out-of-commerce works. In addition to this, the Polish government plans to expand the IP rights for musical performers to 70 years following the release of their work. This would represent a significant improvement, it argued, compared with the current regulation which safeguards their IP rights over a period of 50 years. The draft bill is an implementation of regulations resulting from the European Union law, according to the ministry. This said, while representatives of the country’s artists’ and producers’ organisations have praised the move, the decision has been criticised by some local observers, such as Internet Society Poland (ISOC Poland) and web industry news site DI.com.pl [available here in Polish]. Critics say that the extension will result in a major increase in legal and operational costs related to the management of IP rights, and limit public access to older works which are part of national cultural heritage. More specifically, the legislative package designed to overhaul Poland’s IP law consists of three drafts, the UC123 [available here in Polish], the UC159 [available here in Polish], and the UC94 [available here in Polish]. The drafting stage at government level was completed for the UC123, following which the draft was transmitted to the Polish parliament, where it is currently being debated as proposal 3293 [available here in Polish]. The latter two drafts are still being drafted by the government before they are submitted to the Parliament. UC123 was submitted to the Parliament on 26 March, and in April it was directed to the Parliament’s Culture and Media Committee, according to data from the Parliament. The committee released a legislative report on 24 April, in which it approved the draft measure to extend the government’s plan to expand the IP rights for musical performers to 70 years. The regulatory impact assessment [available here in Polish] drafted by the government and accompanying the draft bill states that the measure will impact close to 10,000 artists who are part of the industry organisations that manage their rights, as well as 105 producers. In the course of a public consultations, several local artists’ and producers’ associations submitted amendments to the draft bill, several of which were included in the revised version of the project. These included a proposal, submitted by artists association STOART, to include a provision on the inability to resign from financial remuneration for distribution of their works. Another proposal submitted by the Creative Poland Association (SKP), resulted by the draft bill stating that the artist has the right to withdraw from a contract signed with a producer if the distributed musical work is not present in retail or available on the internet for sale in a sufficient amount. The previous version of the draft stated that both conditions need to appear simultaneously for the artist to be able to withdraw from such a contract. The second draft, UC159, is focused on public lending rights, out-of-commerce works, and extending the right to quote written works. Regarding the latter field, the draft bill proposes to add a new Art. 26 to the authors’ rights law from 1994, extending the right to quote political speeches and statements made at courts, universities and churches. The draft article stipulates that “it is allowed to use, in accord with the need to inform, from political speeches and statements made at public hearings, lectures and sermons. This does not authorise the publication of such works.” Another draft amendment is designed to end a discussion on the limits of quoting literary works in school textbooks, adding more precision to the current regulations. “Educational institutions, higher education institutions and scientific institutions are authorised to, for the purpose of illustrating transmitted educational content or carrying out scientific research, use distributed written works in their original language or in translation,” the draft bill says. “It is allowed, for the purpose of educational and scientific activities, to publish distributed and smaller written works, or fragments of longer written works in textbooks and anthologies.” Contrary to the other two drafts, which regulate a wide range of fields, UC94 is related to a single issue. The draft states that, while re-broadcasting TV programmes can be solely made through an agreement with a relevant organisation representing its producers, re-broadcasts of such programmes on the internet are not subject to such a requirement. The amendments were drafted following a consultation process launched in the spring of 2013, carried out through the ministry’s Authors’ Rights Forum, a stakeholders’ organisation designed to host discussions over the future shape of Poland’s IP law. In addition to the ministry, other participants of the forum include International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) Poland, the Technological Transfer Centre of the University of Gdansk, online employers’ association IAB Polska, as well as various associations of authors, artists, publishers and other relevant stakeholders. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Jaroslaw Adamowski may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Polish Government Drafts IP Law Reform" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.