SOKOJ

sokojAsset 2

sivapozadina HISTORY

The beginning of copyright protection in the territories that once formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Slovenia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Međimurje and Vojvodina) dates back to the second half of the 19th century.

The first Hungarian Copyright Act was adopted.

The Austrian Copyright Act came into force. At that time, Serbia didn’t have such a law.

During the 20th century, the development of copyright protection in this region was directly conditioned by frequent political turmoil and changes in legislation.

In compliance with the Berne Convention, using as a model corresponding regulations of German, Austrian and Swiss legislation, the Yugoslav Copyright Act was adopted.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia signed the Berne Convention.

The Association of Yugoslav music Authors (UJMA) was established, with regional centres in Belgrade, Zagreb, and Ljubljana. The Association represented a number of authors both domestic and foreign then members of similar associations in the European countries – KODA (Denmark), TEOSTO (Finland), BUMA (the Netherlands), ZAIKS (Poland), STIMA (Sweden)...

After the World War II, in the newly founded Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, a new Copyright Act was adopted and the Institute for Copyright Mediation was set up by the Government decree as a state institution. Its role was to protect copyright in all domains of creative output. The Institute had its headquarters in Belgrade and offices in all Yugoslav republics. The offices collected licence fees from the users whereas the headquarters distributed royalties to authors and other copyright holders. 

The Institute for Copyright Mediation was closed by the decree passing the task of copyright protection onto various unions and associations of authors. The said decree was passed in the period of transition from state administrative to social management in economy and later in service industries. Copyright protection was entrusted to authors. In the period without legal continuity, with lack of judicial practice in cases concerning copyright protection, and certain discordance between the provisions of the Berne Convention and Yugoslav Act, the Association of Yugoslav Composers (SAKOJ) was set up.

 

12th and 13th February 1950 – At the first Congress of SAKOJ held in Belgrade, Stevan Hristić was appointed President and Oskar Danon General Secretary of SAKOJ. Among the numerous goals, SAKOJ was to make an analysis of the musical life in the country, prepare a programme to promote the music of Yugoslav authors both in country and abroad, and establish relations with foreign copyright societies.

At the end of the year, the Institute for the Protection of Authors’ Rights, founded by the Association of Yugoslav Composers and associations of composers from all the republics, changed the name to the Institute for Copyright Protection. Initially, the new Institute was dealing only with the protection of musical copyrights, but later it was entrusted with the protection of literary, dramatic, and visual copyrights by other unions and associations of authors.

At the end of the year, the integrated Institute for Copyright Protection was abolished and the Institute for Performing Rights Protection (ZAMP) was set up by the Association of Yugoslav Composers, whereas the other associations of authors established the Yugoslav Authors Agency (JAA).

SAKOJ becomes a member of International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) with headquarters in Paris. Today, as in previous decades, SOKOJ has a notable role in the activities of this international association.

A new Copyright Act was adopted in order to improve the position of authors and bring national legislation into line with international obligations of the Yugoslav state.

SAKOJ becomes a member of the Paris-based Bureau International de l’Edition Mécanique (BIEM) representing mechanical rights societies.

SAKOJ becomes a member of the International Music Council (IMC-UNESCO) and the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).

Over the past decades, SAKOJ representatives have regularly attended CISAC and BIEM meetings and also hosted several meetings of the working groups of these two organisations and other international organisations engaged in promoting copyright protection.

Organisational changes are taking place: the Association of Yugoslav Composers takes over distribution and payment of royalties for the public performance of musical works and administration of mechanical reproduction rights. The Department for Copyright Protection (OZAP) is set up.

The same year, SAKOJ – Association of Yugoslav Composers – becomes SOKOJ – Association of Yugoslav Composers’ Organisations.

SOKOJ representatives are engaged in proposing amendments to the Copyright Act, which was adopted the same year.

OZAP changes the name to ZAMP – Institute for the Protection of Music Copyright. The new ZAMP, as an independent self-management organisation, comprises the offices of all the Yugoslav republics. SOKOJ, a founder of ZAMP, entrusted this organisation with the collection of licence fees whereas the distribution and payment of royalties remained within the competence of SOKOJ.

SOKOJ underwent structural changes as a result of constitutional changes. SOKOJ was a coordinator of all Yugoslav associations of composers, through the delegate system. In order to keep pace with technological development in collection, distribution, and payment of royalties, SOKOJ has cooperated closely with foreign collecting societies SUISA, AKM, GEMA, and enjoyed their full professional support.

 

SUISA experts was assisting SOKOJ in transition to electronic data processing until SOKOJ mastered the use of its own electronic data base of domestic and foreign authors and their works. In the years of economic development of Yugoslavia, SOKOJ had a prolific activity both in stimulating musical creative work and musical life in our country and in educating music users about their obligations to music authors.

1990s – The 1990s tragic events and the breakup of Yugoslavia led to the emergence of new independent states. As a consequence, the copyright protection from the territory of the former Yugoslav republics was transferred to the newly formed copyright protection societies.

Even though the said events reduced the scope of SOKOJ’s activities, its legal department made a dynamic and significant contribution to the preparation of the Draft Bill on Copyright and Related Rights, which was adopted in May 1998. This law precisely defines the status of SOKOJ as a collective management organisation protecting music copyrights. SOKOJ achieves the status of a business association, a non-profit organisation.

In the years that followed, SOKOJ managed to overcome the consequences of a difficult, decade-long business period and return to the regular business operations.

New changes in legislation present certain modifications compared to the previous legislative solutions. Legislative tendencies as to copyright are harmonised with European legislation, as well as with the laws of other developed countries worldwide. The most important novelty relates to drastic sanctions for unauthorised use of copyrighted work, subject to criminal penalties under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia.

December 2005 – SOKOJ was awarded the 3rd Class Order of Vuk Karadžić for outstanding merits in establishing and development of the system of protection of copyrighted musical works of all genres, as well as for merits in promoting cultural values.

SOKOJ was awarded the 3rd Class Order of Vuk Karadžić for outstanding merits in establishing and development of the system of protection of copyrighted musical works of all genres, as well as for merits in promoting cultural values.

The acronym SOKOJ – Association of Yugoslav Composers’ Organisations, becomes Sokoj – Serbian Music Authors’ Organisation.

The Copyright and Related Rights Act is harmonised with the regulations of the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. Mandatory collective management of copyright and related rights was introduced for certain forms of use of copyrighted work, as an attempt to direct the domestic market with a high rate of piracy towards the creation of institutions. A significant novelty of this Act relates to the negotiations on tariff proposal between the organisation and the representative associations of the users, and the setting up of the Commission for Copyright and Related Rights, whose members, prominent experts in this field, are appointed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

Amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act refer to the provisions governing copyright limitation. The issues governed in detail are the limitation of copyright, if a work is used for the purpose of education and scientific research, database protection issue, and technological measures for the protection of optical discs from unauthorised copying.

Changes and amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act introduce a single equitable remuneration for copyright and related rights, a category of users (craftsmen) is exempt from the payment of licence fees, and it is provided that the maximum tariff is to be viewed in the context of the minimum salary in the Republic of Serbia. The setting up of the Council for the control of collection and distribution of royalties for the communication to the public becomes mandatory and the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia takes over the competence of the Commission for Copyright and Related Rights.

Pursuant to the ruling of the Constitutional Court, changes and amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act cancel the provisions of the Act stipulating that the highest licence fee is to be viewed in the context of the minimum salary in the Republic of Serbia and that the users are to be categorised by the users’ representative association for the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The provision that craft shops are exempt from the payment of licence fees remains in force but it is defined the meaning of a craft shop in terms of the law. (On 4 Feb 2016, the Constitutional Court’s ruling determined that the provision of Article 6 of the Changes and Amendments Act that introduced a new Article 171a paragraphs 1, 2, and 5, and Categorisation of the Users making Communication to the Public of Musical works, Interpretations, and Sound Recordings (Official Gazette RS No. 3/13) are not in compliance with the Constitution and ratified international agreements.)

Changes and amendments to the Copyright and Related Rights Act abolish the single equitable remuneration for communication to the public of musical works, interpretations, and sound recordings; stipulate that the protection of co-authors’ economic rights in musical works with words expires after 70 years from the death of the last co-author; specify provisions regarding tariff determination, distribution, and costs of exercising distribution rights, the content of the certified auditor’s report, the terms and conditions for issuance and the reasons for revoking the licences for collective management of copyright and related rights.