The Law for Amendment and Supplement to the Copyright and Related Rights Act, which in its most part comes into force on the day of its promulgation, 29.03.2018, introduces conditions for multi-territorial settlement of the use of musical works on the Internet. The latter may be performed only collective rights management organization that can process data electronically in an efficient and transparent way and has sufficient information to identify the repertoire and track its use, issue invoices to users, collect revenue from the management of rights and distribute the amounts due to rights holders.
Under the new regulation, collective rights management is an activity in the management of copyright or related rights at the same time on behalf and for the account of more than one holder of those rights for their common benefit. The management shall include: (1) the surrender of users of copyright and / or related rights to the use of works and other objects of protection; 2. collection of the proceeds from the exercise of these rights, as well as from the rights to receive remuneration; 3. Allocation and payment of the sums collected to right-holders; 4. protection of the rights managed; 5. monitoring how rights are exercised. This activity may be performed by a collective rights management organization or by an independent rights management company after registration by the Minister of Culture. The Minister maintains and maintains a public register of persons who have received a registration, which is published on the website of the Ministry of Culture.
The collective rights management organization shall disclose annually, but no later than 30 August, an annual report. The report shall be published on the website of the organization for a period of not less than 5 years. The annual report should contain the information that is legally listed in an annex to the CRRA. The report must include a separate report on the use of the amounts deducted for social, cultural and educational services. The accounting information contained in the annual report is subject to an independent financial audit by one or more registered auditors. The auditor’s report should be included in its entirety in the annual report.
According to the changes in the CRRA, the mayors of the municipalities will control the commercial sites and tourist sites for the pre-arranged rights to live public performance or by recording works, recorded performances, phonograms, recordings of a movie or other audio-visual work, or parts of them. Persons managing commercial sites and tourist sites shall, upon request at least once a year, provide municipal mayors with evidence of their public performance rights assigned to them. In the event of a violation of the above, a pecuniary sanction in the amount of BGN 2,000 to BGN 10,000 shall be imposed on the persons who manage the commercial or tourist sites. The violations will be established by officials, appointed by an order of the mayor of the municipality.
Where a collective rights management organization does not provide multi-territorial authorizations for Internet use of musical works, it does not offer such authorizations or authorized another collective rights management to do so on its behalf until 10 April 2017, persons who have authorized that organization to manage their rights may withdraw from that organization without having to withdraw them from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in order to be able to authorize multi-territorial use of their works, either directly or through third parties, including through another collective rights management organization.
A collective rights management organization registered with the Ministry of Culture until the entry into force of this Act shall retain the registration for the same category of rights, types of rights, works or other objects of protection for which it has been registered. Within three months of the entry into force of this law, the collecting society organization must notify its members about their rights. These rights include:
- Authorization for collective rights management in writing and explicitly for each category of rights, types of rights, types of works, or other types of objects of protection.
- The rightholder may authorize different collecting management rights management organization or independent rights management companies to manage different categories of rights, types of rights, works, or other objects of protection. The rightholder may independently allow the non-commercial use of his works or other objects of protection by notifying the collecting management rights organization in which he / she is a member.
- The rightholder may terminate the authorization of the collecting management rights organization or withdraw from it the collective management of categories of rights, types of rights, works or other objects of protection selected by it for territories of its choice by giving notice in writing not longer than 6 months.
- The rightholder retains his rights for amounts that the collecting managements rights organization organization owes him to use for his works or other objects of protection made prior to the entry into force of the suspension or withdrawal, or for amounts received by a license to use, provided by the organization until the termination or withdrawal takes effect.
The collecting rights management organizations should update their statutes in line with the requirements of the amended CRRA within 8 months as of 29.03.2018.
A collective rights management organization wishing to obtain a registration for collective management of multi-territorial rights for the use of musical works on the Internet should file an application with the Minister of Culture.
A commercial company may apply for registration within six months of entry into force of the CRRA if it is authorized to manage copyright or related rights at the same time on behalf of more than one holder of such rights for their common benefit as their sole or principal activity, and is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, wholly or in part by the holders of such rights. The company may undertake collective management of rights until the issuance of a certificate of registration as an independent management company or until the entry into force of a refusal to register.