The Law on Authors’ Rights and Related Rights was adopted in November 2003 and it was further amended in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 in order to place Croatian legislation in line with EU regulations. The transposition of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was announced in 2020 within the new Draft Law on Authors Rights and Related Rights, but after the criticism from the professional community, the Draft Law was withdrawn from the legal process.
The Croatian model follows the droit d’auteur tradition. Both in theoretical deliberations and in legal texts, it follows the continental European tradition on the protection of moral rights which has been incorporated in the text of the Law passed in 2003. The Law includes provisions for the “fair use” of copyright material for educational purposes without remuneration. It regulates the use of “private copying” and adequate remuneration through provisions for blank tape levies.
According to Croatian legislation, authors and performers have exclusive rights for public performance while the owners of secondary rights (i.e. phonogram producers) have the right of remuneration for secondary use.
- Associations registered as collective rights management associations are the:
- Croatian Composers’ Society, Collecting Society (ZAMP-HDS);
- Croatian Performers’ Rights Collecting Society (HUZIP);
- Protection, Collection and Distribution of Phonogram Producers’ Rights Society (ZAPRAF);
- Croatian Film Directors Guild (DHFR);
- Society for Protection of Publishers Rights (ZANA);
- Croatian Association of Writers (DHK);
- Society for Protection of Journalists’ Authors’ Rights (DZNAP); and
- Croatian Association for Protection of Artistic Works “ARS CROATICA”.
Regarding individual rights’ management – the Croatian Authors’ Agency Centre for Intellectual Ownership Ltd. (HAA) is a legal successor of the Croatian Authors’ Agency that had been in charge of authors’ rights and their legal successors for over 55 years, representing them and promoting the importance of copyright.
In order to improve efficiency of the enforcement system of intellectual property rights, a permanent mechanism of coordinating enforcement tasks and activities of intellectual property rights was established in the Republic of Croatia in the course of 2010, based on the National Strategy for the Development of the Intellectual Property System of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2010 – 2012. The coordination model operates on several levels, through permanent coordination bodies and coordination subgroups, and ad hoc working groups to provide support to individual professional activities. The State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia (SIPO/DZIV) is the State administration body with responsibilities in the field of protection of intellectual property rights.
Many issues still remain unresolved regarding the audiovisual works from the Yugoslav period, and this has especially been a pertinent issue in regards to protection of audiovisual heritage. Additionally, many issues connected to rights of screenwriters need to be dealt with that will be addressed by the Screenwriters’ Guild, which was established in 2016.
The Croatian Composers’ Society, Collecting Society (ZAMP-HDS), has signed contracts with YouTube (for remunerating authors from advertisements shown before or after clips of their music) with Google for licensing music of Croatian authors in Google Media Player Service, Deezer and Spotify, while contracts have also been signed with Netflix, Apple Music and TikTok and their implementation awaits.