Counselling in the field of Polish copyright
The copyright belongs to the areas of law on which the technical progress has a tremendous impact. Some years ago, the only possibility was i.e. to copy books in the classical form, whereas today printed products in electronic form can be reproduced and distributed without any problems. As music recordings were previously transferred from vinyl records or cassettes on other sound carriers, current music videos are downloaded from the Internet or made available and distributed on file-sharing websites partially in an illegal way.
The (Polish) Copyright protects the rights of the creator (author) to a particular work (claims for reimbursement, exploitation and usage rights) and determines at the same time the possibilities that are given to legally use the works without the consent of the creator.
International agreements in the area of copyrights
Berne Convention of 1886 as starting point
Not only has the Polish legislator tried to adapt a legal framework in the field of (Polish) copyright to the rapidly changing (digital) reality. However the copyright is of one of the legal fields where ground-breaking international agreements were concluded already in the 19th century. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works of September 9th, 1886 was the first international agreement, as a result of which the copyright protection should relate not only on the territory of the country, in which the work was published the first time. Subsequently, this Convention had been revised several times, but consistently maintained the extension of copyright protection on the territory of the Contracting States on the basis of the principle of national treatment.
TRIPS and WIPO-Agreements
Strong support was given to the addition made in 1994 to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT consisting in the agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The practical importance lies especially in the enormous number of signatory States. Two other international agreements in the field of copyright – the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty adopted in 1996, have been concluded to further develop the provisions of the Berne Convention in the Paris Act of 24th July 1971.
The European Directives in the field of copyrights
In 2001, the European legislator adopted for the implementation of the content of the WIPO Treaty in the law of the Member States the Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22nd May 2001 on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. In addition, a number of other directives were adopted in recent years to equalize the differences in national law organizations of the individual Member States. An important example is the Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29th April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, which among other things has implemented the right to information in violation of copyright law in the national legal systems of the Member States of the European Union.
Our advisory services in the area of Polish copyright
- Extrajudicial and judicial representation of client’s interests in case of infringements of the (Polish) copyright (claims for information, claims for damages, injunctive relief),
- Counselling services, as well as extrajudicial and judicial representation in case of violation of copyrights in the Internet (File-sharing),
- Establishing and assessment of license agreements,
- Advising and representation of client’s interests in case of disputes with employees in the area of copyright,
- Advice and representation in the defense of allegations with regard to violations of copyrights pressed against the client (letters of warning, judicially steps already opened by the right holders).
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