Until 1993, there were no author’s rights and related royalties as the works belonged to the government regime of 1945-1990, and in 1994 Albania signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. On February 19, 2007 Albania ratified the Hague Agreement of 1960 and on March 23, 2000 ratified the 1999 Geneva Act on the international registration of industrial designs.
In April 2005, the Albanian Parliament passed Law Nr. 9380 on Copyright and other related rights which abolished all previous parliament and government acts dating since 1992. The Albanian Copyright Office (ACO) was established for authors’ rights for collective works and required all parties to certify their contracts. The office collaborated on musician’s rights with the “Albautor” Association, FMMA for the copyright protection of audiovisual works, AKDIE and AMI.
The European IPA funds in 2008 supported activities for the empowerment of the Albanian Copyright Office and its partners, and capacity building to draft the new copyright law.
With an increased awareness on copyright, in April 2006, the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT) signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Film Centre (NCC) aimed at fighting piracy and Copyright Law.
In order to improve information and awareness the Albanian Copyright Office and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Collaboration to also exchange information on February 18, 2011.
After many consultations, drafts and expertise on Copyright legislation, laws and standards in the European Union, including WIPO and other institutions, the Law Nr. 35/2016 “On Copyright and Other Related Rights” was approved on intellectual property and creativity in Albania. In 2017, the Albanian Copyright Office became the Directorate for Copyright and other related Rights remaining under the administration of the Ministry of Culture. This directorate monitors the copyright sector, and a new collective agency was established, the Unique Administrative Portal of Author’s Rights (SUADA- Sporteli Unik i Administrimit të të Drejtave të Autorit), as a specialized body for determining remuneration tariffs to users of artistic property in the Albanian market. The trend of liabilities collected and distributed to copyright holders and other related rights by collective management agencies during the period 2015- 2018 is shown in Chart 6131.
In September, 2021 the National Book and Reading Centre and the Inspectorate for Market Oversight signed a memorandum of collaboration against piracy in the country132 to protect intellectual property, organise collaborative projects and activities to raise awareness and information, etc. Also, in March 2021, a project agreement between the governments of Switzerland and Albania was signed by the Albanian Minister of Finance and the Economy with the Swiss Ambassador to improve the system of intellectual property rights in Albania including processing on patents, public services and inter-institutional collaboration in implementing intellectual property rights. The programme will work with the General Directorate of Industrial Property (under the Ministry of Finance and the Economy) and the Copyright Directorate (under the Ministry of Culture) to improve the administration and use of intellectual property rights. A month later, in April 2021, the Albanian Ministry of Culture signed the Albania-Turkey agreement for strengthening and promoting further cooperation in the fields of protection of copyright, art, archaeology and museology, in the fight against illegal trafficking of heritage objects, etc.
There have been many consultation meetings with artists, the Ministry of Culture, the National Centre of Cinematography and other stakeholders on the issues related to authors’ rights, royalties, etc. Several creatives claim to receive little to no royalties, highlighting the lack of implementation of laws and regulations by the private and the public sectors. The cinematographer Mevlan Shanaj states that authors’ rights are not being respected in the production of Albanian films and “…laws are done to serve the European tables, not to be implemented”133.
- Law Nr.35 Dt 31/3/2016 “On Authors’ Rights and other related Rights” 135
- Bill 2020 for some additions and changes to law Nr.. 35, 2016 “On Authors’ Rights and other related Rights”136
- Regulation for the National Council for Copyright137
- Decision of the Council of Minister VKM Nr.527 Dt 20/7/2016 “On the Approval of the National Strategy for Intellectual Property 2016–2020”138
- 2017 Council of Ministers’ Decision Nr.33, “On the approval of the tariffs applicable to the services offered by the Copyright Directorate” (“CMD Nr.33”),
- 2017, Council of Ministers’ Decision Nr.34, “On the procedures of registration, organization and classification of the copyrighted works” (“CMD Nr.34”)
- 2017, Council of Ministers’ Decision Nr.35, “On the functioning, organization and compensation of the National Council of Copyright (NCC)” (“CMD Nr.35)
The General Directorate of Industrial Property (GDIP) has signed cooperation agreements with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), prepared a National Strategy for Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights 2016- 2020, and offers online registration of industrial property rights through e-albania. Also, the General Directory for Industrial Property and the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy and have promoted the protection of industrial property rights through online registration, including the promotion of products Made in Albania, such as Tradita Popullore (Folk Tradition) – Edlira and ONUS & VIP TIE 3D.
Based on the Annual Report 2020 from GDIP139 , there was an increase in applications for registration of national patents, 5 in 2019 and 12 in 2020, yet a decrease in the number of registered national patents from 3 in 2019 to 2 in 2020. Also, the number of patents registered decreased in these two years, from 927 to 843. The request for patent renewals increased from 3690 in 2019 to 4562 in 2020, as did the number of renewed patents from 3543 in 2019 to 3944 in 2020. Due to ease of online applications, the number of documents filed for patents increased from 4952 in 2020 to 6525 in 2020, as did the number of documents issued by GDIP from 5143 in 2019 to 7239 in 2020.
At a meeting with businesses, the Minister of Finance Ibrahimaj140 mentioned that during the period January-October 2021, 2,335 trademark applications were filed with DPPI, of which 727 of them were from Albanian applicants, compared to 566 applications by Albanians in 2020. Based on law 9947 “For Intellectual Property” during the period January-October 2021, 313 inspections were conducted on authors’ rights and other related rights and 57 administrative penalties were issued. Also, 20 complaints for threats to market brands were filed, and 6 administrative penalties were issued.