1. Which legal regulation governs copyright and related rights?

Copyright and related rights, i.e. rights of performing artists, producers of audio and audio-visual recordings, broadcasters and also the sui generis right of makers of databases are governed by Act No. 121/2000 Coll. (Information in applied document with type of doc size 477 kB), on copyright, rights related to copyright and amendment to some laws (the Copyright Act), as amended. The full wording of the Copyright Act was published under No. 398/2006 Coll.

The Copyright Act is implemented by Decree No. 488/2006 Coll. (Information in applied document with type of doc size 61 kB), stipulating types of devices for making copies, types of unrecorded media and the amount of lump-sum royalties. The Decree was amended by novel No. 408/2008 Coll. with the date of effect 1. 1. 2009.


2. Which works enjoy protection under the Copyright Act?

Pursuant to Section 2 (1) of the Copyright Act the subject matter of copyright shall be a literary work or any other work of art or a scientific work, which is a unique outcome of the creative activity of the author and is expressed in any objectively perceivable manner including electronic form.

Each and every work is unique. Existence of two identical works is therefore out of the question, because one of them will be a forgery of the other. Only a natural person has the ability to create works as a unique outcome of the creative activity. On the contrary, legal persons lack such ability and they can only execute economic rights of the authors on grounds of law (employee work under Sec. 58) or under licence granted by the author ( Sec. 46).

The work has to be created in any objectively perceivable manner. It means that other persons than the author may perceive the work. The work can not exist only in author´s mind.

A computer program, database and photograph shall also be considered a work if it is original in the sense that it is the author’s own intellectual creation.

The copyright in a work shall arise at the moment when the work is expressed in any objectively perceivable form.


3. Which items do not enjoy protection under the Copyright Act?

Pursuant to Section 2 (6) of the Copyright Act, the items that are not works are for example the theme (subject) of a work as such, the news of the day and any other fact as such, an idea, procedure, principle, method, discovery, scientific theory, mathematical and similar formula, statistical diagram and similar item as such.

We are often asked if it is possible to protect certain methodics or principles (such as rules of games, etc.). From the aforementioned provision can be implied that it is not possible. If the author describes methodics in a book, the book is protected as a literary work. However methodics as such is not protected.


4. Where can I register the copyrights to my work (a novel, a computer program, etc.)?

The protection of copyright is informal - no formal requisites need to be fulfilled to obtain protection, because copyright exists from the moment, when the work is expressed in any objectively perceivable manner. It is the difference from industrial property rights  (rights to inventions, trademarks, etc.), where, on the contrary, protection is subject to registration. For information about industrial property rights see website of the Industrial Property Office (www.upv.cz).

Should a dispute on authorship arise, it is recommended that all preparatory materials be maintained (draft versions of the text, sketches, etc.). It is also possible to use service of certain agencies or a collective administrator ( enter into a contract of custody; the work is to be kept by the agency in a safe) or place the work into notary custody.


5. Where can I obtain the copyright notice ©?

The © symbol, called the copyright notice or the copyright clause, has virtually no legal relevance. Its function is merely informative.

The copyright notice in the form

© name of the entity entitled to grant authorization to use the work, year of publication of the work

may be stated on each copy of the work from its publication. It provides information as to whom a request for a license to use the work should be submitted. This could be the author or his heir, the employer for employee works or a publishing house if it holds an exclusive license including the right to grant sub-licenses, etc.


6. Who are the collective administrators?

Pursuant to Section 97 of the Copyright Act, the legal persons associating authors, performing artists, producers of audio and audio-visual recordings are collective administrators of rights. The collective administrators provide for collective administration of the rights governed by the Copyright Act on the basis of authorization granted by the Ministry of Culture in administrative proceedings.

On behalf of the rightholders, they conclude license agreements, e.g. with operators of restaurants, providers of services, organizers of music performances, etc., and collect royalties. They also collect levies for unrecorded media and devices payable to the rightholders in connection with making copies for personal needs and compensation for resale of an original artistic work.

Subsequently, the administrators distribute the royalties and levies to the individual rightholders according to distribution rules. The collective administrators also represent foreign right-holders on the basis of reciprocal agreements with foreign partner organizations.


7. How many collective administrators are in the Czech Republic and which right-holders do they represent?

There are six collective administrators in the Czech Republic acting on the basis of authorizations granted by the Ministry of Culture; each of the administrators represents certain group of right-holders with respect to certain rights.

DILIA (www.dilia.cz), an organization representing authors of literary, dramatic, dramatico-musical, choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show, as well as authors of scenic music created specifically for the use in a dramatic or choreographic work or a dumb show, as well as dubbing directors.

OSA (www.osa.cz), an organization representing authors of musical works containing text or without text, i.e. musical composers and lyricists.

INTEGRAM (www.intergram.cz), an organization representing performing artists and producers of audio and audio-visual recordings.

OOA-S (www.ooas.cz), an organization representing authors of works of art, i.e. paintings, graphic works, sculptures, photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography, architectonic works, including urban works, as well as authors of the visual part of audio-visual works, i.e. directors of photography, architects, stage designers and other authors of the visual part of audio-visual works.

GESTOR (www.gestor.cz), an organization representing authors of works of art in enforcement of their right to compensation for resale of an original work of art.

OAZA (www.oaza.eu), an organization representing sound engineers-authors.


8. I operate a restaurant (a hotel, a hairdressers salon, a store) where I have a TV or radio set, an audio recorder and other similar devices. Do I have to pay royalties?

Yes. Pursuant to the Copyright Act, through this device, you make available works, performances of performing artists and audio or audio-visual recordings to the public. You are allowed to do so only with the consent of the right-holders (i.e. authors, performing artists and producers of audio and audio-visual recordings) and subject to payment of royalties for such consent. You can obtain the consent through collective administrators.


9. Why do I have to pay royalties for a TV or radio set located on my premises when I already pay the radio and television fees?

The radio and television fees are governed by Act No. 348/2005 Coll., on radio and television fees, as amended, and represent, in addition to revenues from advertising, one of the two basic sources for financing of the public-service Czech Radio and Czech Television. The royalties are payable to the right-holders under Copyright Act, i.e. to authors, performing artists and producers of audio and audio-visual recordings and broadcasters.


10. Why do I have to pay to two (three) collective administrators? Does it mean that I pay several times for the same thing?

The individual collective administrators represent different right-holders (such as writers, composers, singers, actors, producers of audio and audio-visual recordings) who participate in the creation of copyright works, audio recordings, etc. You do not pay royalties twice for the same thing; you rather pay royalties to different groups of right-holders.


11. I have a restaurant (a hairdressers salon, a store) where I have a TV or radio set. To whom do I have to pay royalties?

Provided you have TV or radio set in your premises, you are according to Section 23 of the Copyright Act a performer of TV or radio broadcasting, because through your TV or radio set works and other subjects of protection are made available to the public (your customers). You are obliged to pay royalies for such use of works to collective administrators, who represent authors and other right-holders.

Collective administrators collect royalties on the basis of authorizations granted by the Ministry of Culture. In this case, the authorized administrators are:

DILIA (www.dilia.cz), an organization representing authors of literary, dramatic, dramatico-musical, choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show, as well as authors of scenic music created specifically for the use in a dramatic or choreographic work or a dumb show, as well as dubbing directors.

OSA (www.osa.cz), an organization representing authors of musical works containing text or without text, i.e. musical composers and lyricists.

INTEGRAM (www.intergram.cz), an organization representing performing artists and producers of audio and audio-visual recordings.

OOA-S (www.ooas.cz), an organization representing authors of works of art. This administrator does not collect royalies from performer of broadcasting by radio.

OAZA (www.oaza.eu), an organization representing sound engineers-authors.

With regard to the fact, that a collective administrator may authorise the other to execute collective administration instead of him, there are three collective administrator to collect royalties at present: INTERGRAM, OSA ( authorised by DILIA and OOA-S) and OAZA.


12. And to whom do I have to pay if I have TV or radio set in rooms of my hotel?

You pay roalties to the same collective administrators as in case of performing of a broadcast in the premises (see answer no. 11) with the difference, that roalties are collected at present by: INTERGRAM, OSA (authorised by DILIA) and OOA-S (authorised by OAZA).


13. Who is collective administrator OAZA and why do I have to pay to him?

OAZA (protecting asociation of sound engineers-authors) is an collective administrator in the Czech Republic acting on the basis of authorisation granted by the Ministry of Culture issued on 15. 11. 2006 (legal force 20. 11. 2006). In conformity with this authorisation, OAZA is entitled to execute collective administration of the right to perform a broadcast by TV and radio (Sec. 23) and right to performance of work from fixation (Sec. 20).

The Ministry of Culture have taken administative proceeding against OAZA as to withdraw a part of its authorisation (except for a sound in audio-visual works). Afterwards started also proceeding for infringement on grounds that OAZA requires, accoding to the opinion of the Ministry, inadequate roalties in respect of the amount of represented right-holders, resp. persons who obtained roaylties from OAZA.

It has to be mentioned that until the end of administrative proceeding, the authorisation of OAZA lasts to the full extent.

At present, we recommend to enter into negotiations with OAZA and to negotiate terms of contract.

Alike the other collective administrators, OAZA is obliged to ensure, that contracts (including roalties) are in conformity with Section 100 (6) and (7) of the Copyright Act, and conclude contracts with the users of works on reasonable and equal terms.


14. What is a system of levies and why do I have to pay to authors for every blank record carrier, even if I do not want to copy protected works?

The system of levies is enacted in Sec. 25 of the Copyright Act. At present, this system has been adopted with certain modifications in majority of european states. Due to the fact, that modern techniques of reproduction reached very high level of quality and accessibility, it became impossible to control every single copiing (downloading, recording) of works and other protected items. The system of levies provides for the possibility to make free copies without the consent of right-holders but only for personal use (for yourself, family members, closest friends) and right-holders are compensated for it by obtaining levies. Levies are collected from importers (producers) of blank record carriers and devices for copying. Subsequently, levies are to be distributed to the right-holders (authors, musicians, actors, producers of fixations, publishers) by the collective administrators. Levies are not any sort of a tax, nor a sanction for a piracy.