5.1.7 Copyright provisions
Copyright and related rights are regulated by the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1996). Although this law generally provides copyright protection according to international standards, additional amendments are required to harmonise articles in line with the directives of the European Union.
In the period of transition, especially prior to 1996, violations of copyright were widespread such as the unauthorised copying of literary works, multiplication and distribution of videotapes, musical and film CDs and computer software. Since the establishment of many private broadcasting companies and cable operators, the unauthorised broadcasting and re-broadcasting of audiovisual works is ever more present.
The Ministry of Culture has several inspectors to investigate copyright violations as part of their official responsibility and upon request from rights-holders. Collecting bodies, competent courts, customs bodies and other government agencies are all involved in the direct implementation of the law and the protection of copyright.
In 2003, the Ministry of Culture undertook a huge "operation" to publicly destroy over 39 000 illegal videotapes, CDs and computer software. It did strengthen the public interest and awareness of the problems of copyright and reduced the amount of piracy to a certain degree.
Author's rights remain in force 70 years after his / her death. Audiovisual rights, also remain in force 70 years after the legal publishing of a work. In the case of multiple authors, property rights remain in force until the death of the last living author.
Moral rights are applied. While there has not been any specific debate about moral rights, there has been a constant public debate (initiated by authors and the media) on the protection of author¢s rights in popular and classical music.
A new Law on Copyright and Related Rights was adopted and came into force at the end of 2010. It strengthens copyright protection so that most of violations are subject to the Criminal Law. A Coordinative body has been established and is responsible for field actions. One of the actions of this body was the seizure of a number of computers with illegal software in a city mall computer shop. In December 2010, the "SET computers" company had to compensate "Microsoft" for illegally installed software, worth MKD 273 285 000. The new Law does not comply with the new EU decision to extend copyright from 50 to 70 years. The Ministry of Culture says it has not received the new EU directive yet.