Amended copyright law: open licence introduced

On 15 July 2019 a new law introduced amendments to the law “On Copyright and Related Rights”. The majority of amendments will enter into force on 27 May 2020.

Probably, the main change is introduction of the notion of an open licence. Belarus law will allow copyright holders to provide non-exclusive licences via a simplified procedure, where a customer will be able to conclude an open licence agreement by starting to use the copyright or by performing other actions specified in the licence. An open licence must be publicly available so that anyone can read it before using. By default, an open licence will be worldwide and free of charge. Its term will be equal to the term of the exclusive right for software, and five years for other types of copyright and related rights.

Other changes include fee regulation under licence agreements. If the fee is set as a fixed amount, the agreement must also set a maximum number of reproducible copies of the work.

New regulation relevant for cybersquatting

A new Edict 350 “On Peculiarities of Using the National Segment of the Internet Network” was published and entered into force on 18 September 2019.

The Edict explicitly allows disclosure of information about domain name owners if the requesting party is able to demonstrate an IP infringement, even without court proceedings/decision. Information about the domain name owner is often hidden from public access by the owner himself, and under previous regulation the registrar used to refuse to disclose this information, referring to personal data protection and other grounds. This novelty is expected to make combating cybersquatting easier.