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Montenegro’s Copyright Law Amendments in Alignment with the Marrakesh Treaty and (Old) EU Directives

Montenegro’s Copyright Law Amendments in Alignment with the Marrakesh Treaty and (Old) EU Directives

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On 13 May 2024, the Parliament of Montenegro passed the Draft Law on amendments to the Copyright Law. The entry into force is yet to be announced, but it could be expected after June 2024.

The primary objective of these amendments was to align domestic legislation with the Marrakesh Treaty, which facilitates access to published works for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have other difficulties using printed materials. The amendments also aim to comply with EU directives issued in 2017. Unfortunately, newer EU directives are not covered by these changes.

The amendments primarily address the accessibility of content for disabled individuals and cable retransmission. However, they do not cover the direct injection of audio-visual content.

Under the revised copyright Law, the author retains the exclusive right to allow or deny the simultaneous, unchanged, and unabridged retransmission of their work’s first transmission contained in television or radio programs intended for public reception. The right of cable retransmission encompasses retransmission using a cable or microwave system for public reception, carried out by an individual other than the one who performed the first broadcast.

The revised Copyright Law also elaborates on the accessibility of copyrighted products for disabled individuals, referred to as “Users”. It states that a User, or someone acting on their behalf, is permitted to create an accessible format copy of a copyrighted product or related rights subject, without obtaining the appropriate rights or paying compensation, provided the User has legal access to it. This copy is intended for the User’s exclusive use.

Certain institutions, such as The Public Library for the Blind People of Montenegro, National Library of Montenegro, and organisations serving disabled individuals and non-profit NGOs that offer education, training, adapted reading, or information access services, are allowed to create accessible format copies of copyrighted products or related rights subjects. These organisations, referred to as “Authorised Persons”, can distribute these copies, communicate them to the public, or make them available to the User or another Authorised Person on a non-profit basis, solely for the User’s use.

Furthermore, Authorised Persons, Users, or individuals acting on behalf of Users are permitted to import, obtain, or access copies in an accessible format distributed, communicated to the public, or made available to Users or Authorised Persons by Authorised Persons established in other Marrakesh Treaty member states. They can then use these copies for the benefit of Users without the need to obtain any appropriate authorisations or pay compensation. Consequently, domestic Authorised Persons are allowed to distribute, communicate to the public, or make available copies in an accessible format to Users or Authorised Persons established in other Marrakesh Treaty member countries.

Further alignment of Montenegrin Copyright legislation with EU law, including direct injection and exemptions regarding the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) is anticipated in future amendments.

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.

By Nikola Kliska and Sandra Perisic, Senior Associates, Karanovic & Partners

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