Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, artists’ copyrights were protected by the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic Section of the Soviet Copyright Agency. In 1991, this became the State Copyright Agency of the Republic of Moldova.
The legislative body of the Republic of Moldova has passed a number of laws including:
- the Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights No. 293-XIII of 23 November 1994;
- the Law on Patents No. 461-XIII of 18 May 1995; and
- the Law on the Protection of Industrial Design No. 991-XIII of 15 October 1996.
The State Agency for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI) was created Under the Code on Science and Innovation and Government Decision No. 1016 of 13 September 2004, by the merger of the State Agency on the Protection of Industrial Property and the State Agency for Copyright. This agency is a specialised governmental body, invested with the right to grant protection for intellectual property objects. AGEPI operates on self-financed and self-governed principles and is subordinated to the government. The Agency represents Moldova in the World Intellectual Property Organisation and with other international and intergovernmental organisations for the protection of intellectual property, maintains and develops collaboration and cooperation with them, as well as with other specialised institutions from other states.
AGEPI has the following main functions:
- elaborates proposals on state policy and the legal regulatory intellectual property protection framework;
- organises and manages the national intellectual property protection system; and
- develops proposals on the development of the national intellectual property protection system and supervises the execution and enforcement of the legislation of the Republic of Moldova and of the international treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is party.
The modified Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights No. 18-19 of 8 February 2003 protects a maximum range of copyright and neighbouring rights and includes databases, performers, phonogram producers, software, broadcasting and lending of works of art.
Blank tape levies are regulated by Article 19 of the modified Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights. According to Article 19(2), writers and authors shall have the right to receive a levy from the sale of blank tapes.
Articles 20 and 21 of the same Law provides for fees for the private loan or lease of art works and reduces the number of free copies for libraries, archives and for educational institutions.