As part of the Berne Convention, Romania has adopted the droit d’auteur model. At the national level, the copyright system has been modified and updated by Law No. 8/1996, which has been regularly updated in order to comply with the European regulations and the international instruments ratified or adhered to by Romania.
Romanian law distinguishes between:
- Moral rights that protect the link between the authors and their works via a paternity right, a right of integrity, a right to divulgation and a right of withdrawal. For performers, the law recognizes paternity rights and a right to respect the quality of their performance.
- “Patrimonial” rights, i.e. economic rights that proceed from the exploitation of a protected work or subject matter.
The duration of “patrimonial” rights spans for the entire life of the author and, as a general rule, for 70 years after the author’s death. For neighbouring rights, the duration of “patrimonial” rights is of 50 years from the performance or first publication or communication to the public of its fixation, with the exception of phonograms, for which the duration is of 70 years.
In 1996, Romania has recognized the neighbouring rights for performers as well as for phonogram producers, film producers and broadcasting organisations.
Sui generis rights are recognized to database producers. The law provides specific limitations and exemptions for the use of a protected work or subject matter, in particular for information and educational purposes in line with European and international legal frameworks on the basis of the three-step test set up in the Berne Convention. The law also provides for specific conditions concerning the use of orphan works.
Before the entry into force of Law No 8/1996 collective management was restricted in scope and application to composers and writers. Now, collective management societies (not-for-profit entities) have been set up for each domain and in some instances more than one per domain. Currently there are 16 collective management societies recognized by the Romanian Copyright Office. Following the transposition of Directive 2014/26/EU, it is expected that independent management entities (which are for-profit entities) will be set up. It is therefore, too early to evaluate the real impact that these entities may bring about once they’ve entered the market. According to the Romanian legal framework, collective management is mandatory for: private copy levies, public loans, resale rights, broadcasting of musical works, public communication of musical works, equitable remuneration for performers and producers for public communication and broadcasting of commercial phonograms, cable retransmission, orphan works and online multi-territorial licensing of musical works. In addition, collective management societies may collect on the basis of individual mandates from their members the following rights on: reproduction of musical works on phonograms or videograms, public communication of works with the exception of musical works and of audiovisual performances, public lending other than that subjected to mandatory collection and rental rights.
Even before the transposition of Directive 2014/26/EU, Romanian legislation provided extensive rules of supervision on the activities of collective management societies by the Romanian Copyright Office. Following the transposition of said Directive, this role has been further strengthened and the scope of supervision has been broadened.
Taking into consideration the large number of substantial revisions adopted in the more than 20 years since the entry into force of Law No. 8/1996, Law. No. 74/22.03.2018 operated a major overhaul of the entire body of the law no. 8, re-numbering its articles and republishing it in a revised and consolidated form.
Currently, there are no public initiatives to create new bodies for the purpose of researching, supervising and proposing specific legal measures concerning the protection of rights in the digital environment and online.