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Slovenia/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The Slovenian Copyright and Related Rights Act (CRRA) (1995) follows the tradition of droit d'auteur. Copyright is an indivisible right to a work and is a uniform right, which consists of exclusive personal powers (moral rights), exclusive economic powers (economic rights), and other powers of the author (related rights). Although the CRRA was amended several times since its adoption in 1995, there were no changes or debates on moral rights as the concept of moral rights is a well-established concept in Slovenian doctrine.

There are several provisions which provide limitations of copyright in order to enable users' free access to copyright material. However, the limitations are only permissible in cases mentioned in the CRRA, provided that the extent of exploitation of a copyright work is limited by its intended purpose, is compatible with fair practice, does not conflict with the normal use of the work, and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. The limitations are systematically divided in two schemes: legal licences and free use. Legal licences permit the use of copyright material without the assignment of a respective economic right, but on payment of equitable remuneration. CRRA allows such use in the case of reproduction by readers and textbooks intended for teaching and for the reproduction of periodical publications of articles on current topics of general interest, provided that the source and authorship of the work is indicated. It is also lawful to reproduce or distribute works without assignment of economic rights, but on payment of equitable remuneration for the benefit of people with a disability. On the other hand, free use is allowed for the following purposes: to provide access to information of a public nature, for public performance of a disclosed work when used in teaching, temporary reproduction, private and other internal reproduction (in this case the author has a right to equitable remuneration which is collected as a blank media and equipment levy), quotations, accessory works of secondary importance, free transformations of disclosed works, reproduction of databases by the lawful user, public exhibition or sale of artistic works, works permanently located in generally accessible premises, use in official proceedings and testing of equipment.

Another provision which limits authors' right and enables unrestricted public lending of copyright works in public libraries is the provision of public lending rights. Public lending rights are reduced to the right to equitable remuneration, when the original or a copy of a work is made available for use, for a limited period of time, without economic advantage, and if done through organisations performing activities like the public service.

Secondary rights are not defined separately nor there are any provisions relating particularly to secondary usage of works. However, certain types of copyright works (i.e. musical and literary works) fall under mandatory collective management. Therefore, broadcasters must refer to a competent collecting society for permission to use material from their repertoire (an individual author cannot refuse to permit use of his work, if the work is a part of a collecting society's repertoire). Collecting societies are obliged to conclude a contract for the non-exclusive assignment of rights for the use of authors' works in accordance with the valid tariff. Broadcasting organisations shall monthly submit to the competent collecting society a list of all broadcast copyright works.

The amendment to the CRRA made in 2004 was rather exhaustive. Certain changes had to be made in order to bring CRRA into line with EU Directive 2001/29EC on Copyright in the Information Society; others relate to the particularities of Slovenia (like collective management of copyright and related rights). New provisions on technological measures were introduced in addition to the already existing provision on protection of rights-management information. Respectively, the penal provisions of CRRA were amended so that there is a fine prescribed for circumventing effective technological measures and for refusing to cooperate with those enforcing copyright and related rights. Certain new limitations to authors' rights were introduced (i.e. reproduction and distribution of works for the benefit of people with a disability and acts of temporary reproduction, limitation to the right of transformation in cases of works of architecture, limitations to the right relating to databases), while others were modified (i.e. private and other internal reproduction, free use of artistic works for promotion of a public exhibition or sale of artistic works, free use of works for performance of tasks relating to public security or any official proceedings). In the chapter on related rights, the definition of a performer was changed as well as the definition of exclusive economic rights of performers. Amendments were also made to the provisions on collective management of copyright and related rights. The cases in which collective management is mandatory were reduced to: communication to the public of non-theatrical musical works and literary works (small rights), management of the droit de suite, reproduction of works for private or other internal use and its photocopying beyond the scope of free use, cable retransmission. Furthermore, the provisions relating to authorisation of collecting societies, their obligations and supervision were amended. The landmark change in the collective management system was the introduction of mediation as a measure for resolution of disputes concerning conclusion of an inclusive agreement and disputes concerning conclusion of an agreement for cable retransmission of broadcasts. Some other minor adjustments were also made like exhaustion of the right of distribution which now relates to the European Union instead of to the Republic of Slovenia and expansion of the subject matter under the public lending right which now relates to all works, not just written materials as before.

The latest amendment to the CRRA was made in 2006 with the goal of improving the deficiencies inherent in the collective management system (introduced in 2004). The amendments state that if a common agreement cannot be reached within four months of a dispute, each side has the right to propose arbitration. The system of setting tariffs has been a problem for many years. There are many contentions between collective organisations and users of authors' rights; it is easier to adopt ideal legislation than to make it work.

Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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