Summing up the results of public hearings of the bill related to copyrights and taxation

Text of the article:

On the 4.07.2011 public hearings related to bill number 6523 “On amendments to some legislative acts regulating copyrights and related rights” (hereinafter – the bill) took place.

The event was held in the building of the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine. Law firm “Pravova Dopomoga” participated during the hearings along with such participants as European Business Association (EBA), Association of informational technologies enterprises of Ukraine.

Participants of the hearings held an active discussion with representatives of government about a number of regulations of the bill which was adopted after the first reading (01.02.201).

Everybody shared the opinion that current legislation in the field of copyrights protection in Ukraine is imperfect.

However experts of the market, importers and lawyers think that the bill will not help in this situation.

Proposed legislative innovations will result in redistribution of profits for use of intellectual property objects in favor of agents of the intellectual property market – copyright collecting agencies which are by no means interested in payment of royalties to copyright holders. In many cases these agents do not even have appropriate agreements with copyright holders.

Particularly noteworthy are proposals of the bill’s authors about introduction of fees for producers and importers of equipment and storage devices which can be used for reprographic reproduction of objects

In the environment of informational society this fee will become of total nature and be paid to authorized copyright collecting agency. And in case with imported equipment this is to be done before passage of state border of Ukraine.

We are actually talking about new obligatory fee which is not provided by the Tax Code of Ukraine.

Payment of this obligatory fee will be required for producers and importers of copy machines, computer equipment, data storage devices for reproduction of copyrights objects. Also the bill provides introduction of new document for importers – certificate issued by authorized copyright collecting agency about payment of required deductions to this organization. The bill is in contradiction with successful European practice by means of requirements to pay abovementioned deductions prior to customs clearance.

An idea about payment to authorized organization within 30 calendar days after sale of equipment and/or date storage devices was actively discussed. However representatives of government do not wish to succumb on this matter. They state that there are no effective mechanisms which could make importers to pay the required payments in time so their logic is based on principle “money in the morning – chairs in the evening”.

Summing up the results of public hearings it is possible to conclude that in the nearest future importers of copy machines, printers, multi-functions devices, flash drives and other data storage devices will face additional obligatory payments and procedures of some documents obtainment which are required for importing of goods into Ukraine

Law firm “Pravova Dopomoga” will continue participation in discussions related to the bill at different levels in order to achieve adoption of clear and acceptable for business rules regarding payment of royalties for copyright holders for possible future use of equipment, data storage devices for reproduction of copyrights objects.

Publication date: 14/07/2011

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