Changes to the Copyright and Related Rights Act

December 02, 2023


Author: Boyana Boyadzhieva

“The State Gazette“ has promulgated the Law on Amendments and Additions to the Copyright and Related Rights Act (CRRA), which was adopted at the second reading by the 49th National Assembly on 23 November 2023.

This amendment transposes into Bulgarian law two pieces of European Union legislation, namely Directive (EU) 2019/789 laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organizations and retransmissions of television and radio programs, and amending Council Directive 93/83/EEC and Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC.

The renewed Act modernizes certain aspects of copyright, provides better protection for the rights and interests of performers, authors of music, directors, producers, screenwriters, operators, and others, introduces new tools to protect authors and performers in their relations with producers and publishers, and removes existing contradictions for which the CRRA from 2019 was criticized by copyright management organizations in Bulgaria.

The amendments to the Act amend the rules on the permitted broadcasting, transmission, and retransmission of works and the distribution of royalties, introduce new possibilities for the free use of works, including for automated text and information analysis, for digital and cross-border teaching activities, for the preservation of cultural heritage, for caricature or parody, etc. A new related right for publishers of press publications and a new regime for providers of online content-sharing services are introduced. It also introduces a right that allows authors of works of scholarly literature created in connection with research funded in whole or in part by public funds to retain the right to disclose that work, or parts of it, in educational or scholarly repositories for non-commercial purposes once it has been accepted for publication by a publisher. The time limit of ten years for the assignment of copyright has been abolished – contracts for the use of works can now be concluded for a period longer than 10 years.

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