Between 2010 and 2012 a group of European experts worked to compile the new Albanian draft Law on Copyright, based on EU copyright law, in an effort to make it simpler and more practical to determine the responsibilities of copyright protection institutions.

The draft law fills gaps in the existing Law on Copyright and Other Related Rights (9380/2005) and sets out new rules for the circulation of copyright products within the digital environment. Digital copyright management is a new concept introduced by the draft law, which provides for the protection of copyright taking into account new technologies for the production, import, distribution, sale, lease, publication and possession of material.

The draft law also establishes a new institution, the Central Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Albania. This institution will control, supervise and inspect copyright – currently the responsibility of the Copyright Office.

Article 9 of the new draft law stipulates that an employer authorising a third party to use a copyright-protected work developed by an employee shall automatically pay the employee a proportional remuneration; the existing law does not provide for such remuneration right. Under the existing law, an employee is entitled to such remuneration only if this is stipulated in the employment agreement and for the period of time specified therein; however, under the new draft law, the employee is automatically entitled to remuneration (it need not be stipulated in the employment agreement). Further, remuneration is introduced for copyrighted material in the following cases:

  • rent of audiovisual creations;
  • rent of phonograms;
  • public rent;
  • private use;
  • reprographic reproduction; and
  • the use of phonograms. 

The new draft law provides for the obligatory collective administration of copyright and improves copyright collective practices in Albania. An author shall enjoy copyright in his or her creation based purely on the fact that he or she is the author – no registration or other formality is necessary. Further, a detailed fee schedule for all collective administration agencies has been set out.

Moreover, the term of copyright protection for works of interpreters/executors and producers of phonograms is extended from 50 to 70 years, starting from the first official publication date. In comparison to the existing law, all penalty measures and fines have been increased: the existing law provides that the fine for unauthorised reproduction of a musical or audiovisual work is between Lek10,000 and Lek100,000, while the new draft law provides for fines of between Lek100,000 and Lek500,000.

Jonida Beqiri

This article first appeared in IAM magazine. For further information please visit www.iam-magazine.com