The Copyright and Related Rights Act of 4 February 1994, and amendments adopted on 9 June 2000 in order to make the Act compatible with EU law, are the basic Polish legal acts on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights. Some of the main areas of change were:
- cancellation of computer amnesty;
- introducing regulations to prohibit the removal of technical security devices installed in computer programmes;
- adoption of new terminology used to designate the rights of authors, artistic performers and producers;
- increase in the number of people entitled to remuneration generated by rental rights;
- granting broadcasters neighbouring rights;
- introduction of statutory definitions for some institutions;
- extension of the period of copyright protection to seventy years and a new model to count the period of protection;
- new levels of protection for phonograms and artistic performances realised before 1974; and
- special protection for works which have not been published during the defined protection period, so called posthumous publishing or critical and scientific publishing, which are already in the public domain.
The Copyright and Related Rights Act provides the legal basis to levy fees on blank tapes and copying/reprographic machines. Payments to producers of blank tapes, records, video and other similar machines amounted to 3% of the net price. Fees are distributed according to the following scheme:
- creators receive up to 50% of the total amount of all fees;
- artists and performers receive up to 25% of the total amount of all fees; and
- producers of phonograms and videograms receive ca. 25% of the total amount of fees.
In 2010, Poland was taken off the Watch List – the list of countries where the levels of crime against the rights of intellectual property are particularly high.