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სიახლეები პუბლიკაციები კვლევები სიახლეების გამოწერა
 

Threat to the Georgian Copyright Collective Management System

We do not wish to keep fighting against obvious attack without involvement of international society any more. Now it is time to speak loudly! The danger is real and it is happening now!

Let us start from the very beginning and it started in August 2017 when the RussianAuthors’ Society (RAO) established a Confederation of Rightholders’ Societies of Europe and Asia (EACOP, http://eacop.org, English abbreviation CRSEA). The organization gathered following five countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus. At the same time, RAO created a National Intellectual Property Transactions Coordination Centre (IP Chain, https://ipchain.ru) which was intended to track information regarding royalties collected by Confederation members, as well as information about the owners of those royalties. 

A little after, the EACOP has started putting pressure on us to join the Confederation. There were several written and oral requests, Mr. Krichevskiy who has high posts (founder, board member or general director) in all Russian organizations involved (EACOP, IPChain, RAO, VOIS, RUR…) and his accompanies visited Georgia personally and requested to join both EACOP and IPChain again. All the time Georgian Copyright Association’s (GCA) oral and written answers were refusals to join. Joining EACOP would weaken GCA’s position internationally, harm Georgia’s Euro integration process and would be an obstacle to the further development of the copyright protection field in Georgia, causing it to regress. It is also worth mentioning here that both EACOP and IPChain are criticized in Russia for conflicts of interests, being an obvious threat to collective management system, etc. (Russian web site about collective management in Russia: http://copycollect.com).

At the same time, RAO has sent a letter to GCA signed by unauthorized person – Head of International Relations Administration notifying about RAO’s intention to terminate reciprocal agreements with GCA.

Despite a number of unsuccessful attempts, Russia failed in its objective and Georgia did not join EACOP. Frustrated by this failure, Russia engaged in the following actions: they have contactedRussian based Georgian singers,David Khudjadze and Achi Purtseladze.Through them, Russia is trying to discredit GCA’s reputation with Georgian artists and create dissonance in the field within Georgia. 

As a result, several persons have grouped and established a legal entity which purports to protect the copyright of Georgian artists and collect the royalties. However, this is technically impossible, because, apart from other factors, they are not legally authorized to do so. In order to hold the status of a collective management organization (CMO) in Georgia, the organization should meet the following criteria listed in Article63 of the Georgian Law on Copyright and Related Rights: It should have executed a reciprocal representation agreements with most of the foreign countries' similar societiesthat GCA already possess. In addition, the law only allows the existence of one CMO in the country, which has already been operating successfully for many years.

Additionally, they began disseminating propaganda to smear GCA, claiming that it does not operate properly, is not transparent, etc. On the contrary, it is widely agreed that GCA’s work on behalf of the Georgian right holders has been transparent for many years and is in full compliance with CISAC standards. Every member of the association receives comprehensive information regarding collected and distributed royalties. In addition, this information is published and distributed among GCA members, is posted on the GCA website, and is delivered to CISAC and the National Intellectual Property Center (SAKPATENTI).  

Due to the seriousness of the situation described above, we consider it of utmost importance to provide true information to the international society and, in particular, CMOs that have reciprocal agreements with GCA that may be directly affected and would be the victims of the Russian smear campaign. Further, Georgia recently signed an associate agreement with the European Union (EU). One of the most important parts of this agreement is intellectual property protection. In addition, it will slow down the royalty collection and distribution process and will decrease the amount of collected royalties significantly. 

GCA have begun a campaign, “No to Occupation of the Intellect!” 

We believe this campaign will be successful, and we will avoid Russia’s attempt to occupy the intellectual sphere within Georgia. 

Together we will be victorious!

 
 
 
 
 
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