Workshop in Brcko: Media employees are increasingly confronted with the theft of copyrighted works

Brcko, 07.07.2020. – Bosnia and Herzegovina has a relatively good legal framework for the protection of copyright and related rights. However, the biggest problem of copyright protection of journalists, as well as copyright protection in general is the practical application and functioning of statutory protection mechanisms, concluded the workshop “Copyright protection of journalists and other media professionals in BiH”, held today in Brcko, organized by the BH Journalists Association.

With the advent of online media and the rapid development of media in the digital age, media professionals are increasingly facing the theft of their copyrighted works in which they have invested a lot of effort, time and money, but also find themselves in the role of those who abuse other people’s copyrights.

Doc. dr. Haris Hasic from the Faculty of Law at the University of Travnik says that if journalists have any doubts when they want to use someone else’s work, they should always ask for written permission from the author or right holder.

“If you take just one sentence and you haven’t quoted, it represents a potential theft of a copyright work because a copyright work is something that is protected by law, a subject of law, a product, a commodity like any other, where the law defines what is allowed and what is not and for whose use one (often) has to pay “, says Hasic, adding that copyright lasts for the life of the author and 70 years after his death.

Lawyer Kemal Svrakic is of the opinion that media workers must, above all, know about copyright, educate themselves and develop awareness of protection mechanisms, so that they can effectively claim their rights in the event of theft or misuse of a copyright work.

“The first way in which media employees can protect themselves is the employment contract and then the internal regulations, as well as the exchange of experiences with colleagues from the editorial office, but also from other media. The other way is judicial protection, given that we have a provision that says that anyone who unauthorized or intentionally infringes someone else’s copyright is obliged to compensate the right holder for three times the actual value of the work “, says Svrakic and points out that in addition to these three mechanisms, a knowledge of media professionals and constant education on copyright is also important.

Andrijana Pisarevic, a journalist and member of the Trade Union of Media and Graphic Artists of Republika Srpska, believes that BiH market began to regulate this area and that changes are already visible in relation to the years behind us, when the copyright of media employees was not discussed at all.

 “Media unions in themselves neither deal with, nor have a direct impact on the protection of the copyrights of journalists and other media workers. Due to the nature of the job of workers’ organizations, as well as the obvious poor situation in the media, the subject of media union protection are mainly the labor rights of journalists and other media workers, their contracts, salaries and working hours, illegal dismissals, exploitation by employers and very frequently working without any contract, as well as other related issues”, says Pisarevic.

She stressed that this does not mean that the union could not deal with copyright in any case, because the connective tissue that connects these two points is an economic component that manifests itself in the theft of content has its real value, as well as lowering the cost of labor of journalists.

Today’s workshop in Brcko is part of a set of activities initiated by BH Journalists in cooperation with partners Hayat TV, Dnevni list and Srpskacafe, with the support of the Independent Media Empowerment Program (IMEP project), with the aim of more effective protection of copyrights of journalists and media through improving legal environment and professional capacities of the media community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in accordance with the EU Copyright Directive of March 2019.

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