Fight against Piracy in Digital Age
Although the development of information technologies in the digital age enabled authors to deliver their works to greater audiences, in the meantime, it has made copyright protection more difficult and the concept of piracy has become more relevant. According to the definition given in the Law ‘on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and Fight against Piracy’, piracy is the preparation (production) and distribution of audio-visual works, phonograms, computer programs, data sets, and copies of books without the consent of the rights holder. Importance of fight against piracy is characterized not only by the material and moral damage caused to the rights holders (authors), but also by its negative impact on the economy.
Scrutinizing the researches of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and statistics, it is perceptible that piracy is growing into a billion-dollar industry on global level and socio-economic risks associated with that are great. To diminish these risks, as well as to properly establish the anti-piracy policy, a number of measures are being implemented in the international arena. Examples of such measures include the inclusion of intellectual property objects in the customs registers; the creation of collective rights management organizations; the blocking and removal of unlicensed (pirate) content from the Internet, social networks and video services; the inclusion of illegal Internet resources in the ‘WIPO ALERT’ international blacklist; inclusion of websites of the subjects engaged in digital piracy to the blacklist upon claims of right holders. The significance of international regulations on social platforms with a global user base is undeniable, but local regulations are also extremely important for the proper establishment of anti-piracy policies.
As a legal basis of the protection of Intellectual Property rights and fight against piracy in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Laws ‘on Copyright and Related Rights’ and ‘on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and Fight against Piracy’, Rules for ‘Suspending the release of goods containing objects of intellectual property rights, extending the period of suspension of release, informing the applicant and the declarant about the decisions made’  and the Law ‘on Accession of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the “Convention on Protection of the Interests of Phonogram Producers from Illegal Reproduction of Their Phonograms” of World Intellectual Property Organization” were adopted. Control of compliance with the current legislation in the field of copyright, improvement of the legislation and other tasks intended for the implementation of the state policy in this field are performed by the Copyright Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Another local regulation mechanism is the establishment of collective rights management organizations. According to the Law ‘on Copyright and Related Rights’, such organizations are established by the authors and owners of related rights, and the authority to manage property rights on a collective basis is given to such organizations directly by the owners of copyright and related rights voluntarily on the basis of written agreements or by membership in these organizations. According to the Article 42.2 of the Law ‘on Copyright and Related Rights’, organizations that manage property rights on a collective basis have the right to receive duly approved programs and other documents about the used works and income from persons using works and objects of related rights, as well as to demand payment of royalties within a specified period. Registration of such organizations and control over the activity of them is realized by the Copyright Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Currently, following organizations are operating in Azerbaijan:
- ‘Guild of Film Directors’ implementing collective management of the property rights of the authors of audio-visual works
- ‘For Copyright’ Public Union implementing the collective management of the property rights of authors of musical works (composers and poets).
Samples of contracts and application forms for becoming a member of the ‘Guild Film Directors’, which has been operating for a long time, are posted on the audiovisual.az website in an explanatory manner.
Role of the judicial remedy as a part of protection mechanism of Intellectual Property rights is evident. Analysing the experience of a number of foreign countries such as Turkey shows us the successful experience of institution of specialised courts to protect the rights of the rights holders in the fight against piracy. This, in turn, shows the significance of the specialisation of courts and judges in the field of Intellectual Property Law. In Azerbaijani legislation, the possible means of remedy are reflected in Chapter 2 of the Law ‘on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and Fight against Piracy’ and Articles 44-45 of the Law ‘on Copyright and Related Rights’. Thus, according to Article 45, the rights holders can apply to the court for the protection of their rights. The court may issue a decision on payment of compensation for damages, removal of infringing goods from the trade network without compensation, removal from the user, confiscation or destruction of materials and equipment used in the preparation (production) of goods, as well as on urgent and effective temporary measures for the purpose of securing a civil claim. It should be noted that civil, administrative and criminal liability is provided for violation of copyright and related rights in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Hence, this article, in which we cover the widespread trends of the protection of Intellectual Property rights and, in particular, the mechanisms of fight against piracy in the digital age, draws attention to the socio-economic importance of establishing the right policy in this field by reviewing the existing, working and developing directions in Azerbaijan with foreign experience.
 The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on ‘Copyright and Related Rights” (05.06.1996, № 115-IQ)
 The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on ‘Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and Fight against Piracy’ (22.05.2012, № 365-IVQ)
 Rules for ‘Suspending the release of goods containing objects of intellectual property rights, extending the period of suspension of release, informing the applicant and the declarant about the decisions made’ (approved by Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers № 163 dated 25.06.2013)
 The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On the accession of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Convention of the World Intellectual Property Organization on the protection of the interests of producers of phonograms against illegal reproduction of their phonograms’ (16.02.2001, 79-IIQ)
Company (LLC) registration in Azerbaijan (Innovation in registration of an LLC)
As EKVITA, we provide services in multiple areas of law (corporate, labor, migration, tax, litigation, etc.), as well as accounting, audit, business development and accompany our clients starting from early stages of their businesses. In this regard, putting it simply, I would like to speak about “opening the company”. That is, what is the most appropriate organizational form for starting a business in Azerbaijan, its advantages, necessary procedures in the registration process and etc. As you know, there are several organizational forms for the establishment of a company in the legislation. However, today I would like to tell you about the Limited Liability Company (LLC), which is the most acceptable and simple one among the rest in terms of procedural and legal requirements. If we refer to the definition of LLC – a limited liability company means company established by one or more persons (natural persons and (or) legal entity), the charter capital of which is divided into shares, the sizes of which are specified by the charter. As can be seen from mentioned definition, the legislation does not set limits regarding the number of founders of the LLC. In other words, the founder can be one or more persons, including a foreign citizen. It should be noted that in the case of foreign citizens, the legislative or documentation requirements are the same as for Azerbaijani citizens, i.e. there are no additional or special requirements. Another benefit of the LLC is the absence of any restrictions regarding its charter capital in the legislation. In other words, there is no minimum or maximum limit, the charter capital may be settled in any amount. Therefore, in many cases, when establishing the LLC, the charter capital is formed in the amount of 10-100 manats. It also should be noted that the registration process of the LLC is notable for its simplicity, and it would be appropriate to emphasize the innovative policy pursued by the Ministry of Taxes in this sphere. Thanks to it, Azerbaijan has established itself in 9th place in terms of the “Starting a Business” indicator among 190 countries this year, according to the annual Doing Business Report of the World Bank.Powered by Froala Editor
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