IFRRO steps up its work in the Balkans

IFRRO is increasing its involvement in the Balkans where a number of countries have witnessed accelerating economic development in recent years. img-20180426-wa0003-edit.jpg
IPOM-WIPO Sub-regional seminar on 26 April © Anita Huss

After going to Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia in the last 12 months, IFRRO has now visited members and participated in WIPO events in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the end of April, IFRRO spoke at a Sub-regional Seminar on Collective Management of copyright organised by the Intellectual Property Office of Montenegro (IPOM) and WIPO in Podgorica, Montenegro. The event brought together Montenegrin rightholders, users of copyright-protected works, international federations, International Copyright Expert Mihaly Ficsor and WIPO’s Counsellor Anita Huss. 

IFRRO’s Manager for Policy and Regional Development Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères made a presentation on the emerging issues in the text and image sector. He referred to the copyright law of Montenegro which provides a good basis for rightholders to manage their rights and he demonstrated how this can be effectively done using regional examples in Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia where educational licensing, public lending right and collection of equipment levies and operator fees are taking place.

There is no RRO in Montenegro but through productive talks with rightholders and with Valentina Radulović Šćepanović, Director of IPOM, and Dragana Ranitović, Deputy Director of IPOM, IFRRO is hopeful that collective management can soon start in the country. Find here an article on the IPOM website.

At the beginning of June, IFRRO went to Sarajevo to visit Association Original, the RRO of Bosnia and Herzegovina which became the 100th RRO in membership of IFRRO in April this year. Lejla Gačanica, Director of the Professional service of Original, and IFRRO’s Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères reviewed together the current situation in Bosnia and the impressive achievements of the RRO. Original was founded in 2016, in 2017 it was granted the licence to administer rights for private and other internal use of written works on behalf of authors and publishers and since then the RRO has started negotiations with users and is already collecting revenues.

They then joined international federations and local experts for a National Seminar organised by WIPO and the Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Mostar on 5 and 6 June. Together with WIPO’s Anita Huss and International Expert Romana Matanovac Vučković, they took part in a number of discussions on specific aspects of collective management. Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères shared comments on WIPO’s Good Practice Toolkit for CMOs and he made presentations about the importance of awareness-raising and current issues for IFRRO. He also presented the recently launched Content For Education campaign which brings together writers, literary translators, visual artists, journalists, publishers, teachers and collective management organisations, all together supporting a balanced copyright legislation, one that enables great access to works while fairly remunerating rightholders.

Find here an article on Original’s website and here an article on the Bosnian IPO’s website.