Macedonia: New copyright law

By EDRi · November 17, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Neues Urheberrechtsgesetz in Mazedonien |]

Prison sentences of up to five years for copyright infringement are
projected in the new Law on Copyright and Related Rights adopted in
September 2010 in Macedonia.

With this law, which in addition to authors’ and artists’ rights also
regulates the rights of film and stage producers, radio and television
organizations, as well as the rights of publishers and database developers,
copyright infringement is actually becoming a crime.

With these changes to the law that was being prepared for four years,
Macedonia now formally has the same copyright protection standards as the EU
member states. However, the general impression is that the formal progress
is far from significant, as copies of film and music works are being sold on
the side walks of the busiest intersections in the capital, and some of the
film festivals are still screening films using DVDs.

Representatives of agencies working in the IP field and fighting infringers
of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights say that major violations of this
Law are taking place in Macedonia, and no sphere is an exception; from the
textile, pharmaceutical, to the tobacco and automotive industry.

We’re seeing counterfeited material, copies of registered trademarks in
every area – says Mite Kostov, chairman of the Coordination Body for
Intellectual Property. He added that a great number of DVD stores across the
country were closed as part of a copyright protection campaign. In Strumica,
for example, out of 22 DVD stores, only a few remained in business, and only
seven out of thirty in Tetovo, i.e. the ones that legally exist – Kostov

The common impression of experts in this sphere is that the biggest problem
regarding the sanctioning of offenders is in the courts. This was also noted
in the latest EU 2010 Progress Report on Macedonia, stating that only 23 out
of 98 court procedures on copyright have been completed – Pepeljugovski

New Macedonian Copyright law (only in Macedonian)

Macedonia: Up to five years in prison for piracy (only in Macedonian,

(Contribution by EDRi-member Metamorphosis – Macedonia)