Experts: Copyright register contributes to protection and transparency on the market, even if registeration is voluntary

Should the register be voluntary? Should it be introduced only when complete? Experts still argue on both aspects, yet agree the register is to be open to all willing to register authorship.  

Experts discuss possibility of creating a copyright register in Ukraine. It will provide additional protection rights as well as a general idea of the situation in the market. This register will be voluntary. This was stated by Olena Orliuk, Director of Science & Research Institute on Intellectual Property, National Academy of Legal, editor of scientific and practical journal “Theory and practice of intellectual property”, at  a discussion held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

“Presently, a newly formed intellectual property agency will not necessarily administer registration of works of authorship. The register will be filled by concerned authors to determine what works they have property rights to. It will be helpful to publishers if they have signed contracts, under which the authors transfer their rights to them. This is a public fact, you can track who owns the copyright at the moment,” explained Ms. Orliuk. This is also true when dealing with unscrupulous authors and publishers and searching for heirs to the rights if necessary. However, it concerns only non-confidential information, for example on fees.

According to Oleksandr Afonin, President of Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Books Distributors, the register will help to see Ukrainian copyright field. “Today, there are authors with good works, but due to circumstances and commercialization of this area, they cannot get through to publishing, no one notices them,” he explained. Mr. Afonin added that the register should be bilingual: Ukrainian and English, in order to work for a foreign market.

Anton Martynov, Director of “Nash Format”, believes that it would be better to make registration mandatory. However, even if it is voluntary, you can make it attractive. “We can use additional incentives to attract people, for example, provide formal legal expertise on controversial issues in this field,” he explained. Nadiya Shevchenko, lawyer, legal manager at “Mahaon Ukraine” publishing house, stressed that registration should be accessible as far as money is concerned. “It is reasonable to introduce the register only when it is complete. Even if registration does not cost much, money is essential. A lot of people will not be able to pay for the register. It should be inexpensive to be filled,” she said.