Copyright and Related Rights Office, is an administrative body which was established under the Regulation of Kosovo Government no. 01/2010, in June 2010. The Office operates within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and exercises its activity, according to the law on Copyright and Related Rights.
The powers of the Office are set by law, namely the basic activity of the office is to grant the license to the associations for collective administration of rights; supervision of the activity and activities of the associations for the administration of rights; removing license granted to the association for administration of rights; promoting and undertaking activities to provide appropriate information to the authors, rights holders and the public regarding copyright and related rights; monitoring of the international legislation and making recommendations regarding the field of copyright and related rights.
It is important to note that the Office does not have executive powers in the context of enforcement of copyright, respectively for any claims regarding violations of copyright and related rights, authors and rights holders should be directed to the competent authorities, courts, competent prosecutions and market inspectorate.
Law Enforcement Initially Office activities, are based on the issuance of sub-legal acts, by which certain issues are regulated. The Office has approved the Regulation on granting and removing the license for associations of collective administration of rights, and the Regulation for mediation of disputes on issues by copyright and related rights.
The Regulation for granting licenses to the Associations for Collective administration of Rights - With this regulation are set procedures for granting the license for the collective administration of rights; criteria which a founded association must meet in order to apply; monitoring procedures of associations by the Office; and in case of violations by the associations is also foreseen the removal of the license for collective administration of rights.
Licensing of the Associations for Collective Administration of Rights the Office, in July 2012, has granted the license for collective administration of rights, to the first two associations in the Republic of Kosovo, Association for the administration of rights in the field of music, which represents Authors, Producers and Performing Artists of Kosovo, known by the abbreviation APIK, and the association for the administration of rights in the field of audio visual works, which represents Authors, Producers and Performing Artists of
Kosovo, known by the abbreviation VAPIK.
The two licensed associations, are functioning under the purpose of the exercise of their activity. Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has supported the licensed associations by supporting their participation in two study visits abroad, namely in Brussels and in Slovenia.
Office exercises administrative supervision of the work of associations, in order to ensure that the association carries out its functions in accordance with the law. In this context, the Office may require form the associations any kind of information or documents related to the association, its activities, or in connection with a certain author or user, and may inspect books or any kind of documents regarding the association.
The Regulation for Mediation of Disputes in the Field of Copyright - The process of mediation, provides an alternative resolution of the certain disputes. The process of setting general fees for the use of copyright, passes through several phases, and one of potential phases of the development of this process is that of mediation. If one phase is not successful, it is proceeded with the next phase.
The first phase is that of negotiations between the associations for collective rights administration and users representatives. The second phase, if negotiations do not reach an agreement on fees, the law has stipulated as mandatory the mediation phase between the aforementioned parties. In order to implement the law, the Office has drafted the Regulation on mediation, which is approved by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo. This regulation, defines the procedure of mediation between the collective associations and representatives of users, on the achievement of comprehensive agreements on the general fees for the use of copyright works. Moreover, it determines the level, type of education, and other criteria that a mediator must meet to enter the list of mediators. The third and final phase begins if the mediation process does not result in reaching the agreement regarding the general fees, and then the fees are approved by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo.
Inter-Institutional Cooperation - The office has excellent relations of cooperation with local institutions, which have competence in the field of copyright. In this regard, we should mention the cooperation with the Kosovo Customs, Market Inspectorate, the Industrial Property Office, and the Kosovo Police. In order to strengthen cooperation and with the recommendation of the European Commission, memorandums of cooperation with the aforementioned institutions have been signed.
International Cooperation - Since its establishment, the office has build cooperation relations with sister offices in the region and beyond. It is good to mention the excellent cooperation with the Albanian Copyright Office and were organized exchanges of mutual visits.
In this context, the Office has collaborated with the Copyright Office of Denmark, where in 2012, a study visit has been carried out and were held a number of meetings with representatives of the Danish Office and associations for collective administration of rights.
In June 2012, at the Conference organized by the Office, also participated the chairperson of the international cooperation unit for copyright in the framework of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, an office with which we have excellent cooperation.
In the framework of cooperation, excellent relations were established with the Slovenian Office of Intellectual Property. In August 2013, a study visit to Slovenia was carried out, where also was held a meeting with the Director of the Office, and representatives of associations for collective administration of rights.
In November 2012, a delegation from the Copyright Office, has participated in an international conference on the rights of performers. In January 2013, the representative of the Office, participated in a seminar organized for copyright in Skopje, also attended by representatives of regional offices of the copyright and representatives of associations for collective administration of rights.
At the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, Director of the office participated in the International Conference on intellectual property. At this conference, attended by representatives of intellectual property offices in the region, Turkey and other countries of the EU, as well as representatives of various companies.
Office and the European Commission - The Office has an excellent rapport with representatives of the European Commission in Kosovo, and it is developed through regular meetings. Also, it should be mentioned the Feasibility Study for 2012, where is highly appreciated the work and activities of the Office. It Is worth mentioning the positive assessment of the European Commission in connection with the development of the Strategy Against Piracy, human capacity building and the establishment of excellent cooperation with the sister offices.
The European Commission has funded the project "Strengthening the Intellectual Property System in Kosovo", started on February 5, 2013. The Copyright Office is one of the beneficiaries. The project is composed of four types of activities for copyright and related rights in Kosovo. These activities will be carried out with the aim of: Further Alignment of legislation on copyright with the European legislation; existing capacity building in the Copyright Office; capacity building for law enforcement authorities; and raising awareness of copyright.