Belarus 2011

Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
The exclusive right to the work is valid for the life of the author and 50 years after his death. The exclusive right to anonymous works or works that are used under a pseudonym, is valid for 50 years after the first lawful publication of such work or 50 years since after its creation, if during the 50 years after its creation it has not been lawfully published by the consent of the author. In determining the validity of the exclusive right to anonymous works or works under a pseudonym used in respect of which in the period specified in the first part of this paragraph, the author revealed his identity or it is no doubt of his identity, it is used paragraph 2. Exclusive right to the work created in co-authorship is valid for 50 years from the death of the last surviving author. The terms defined in this Article shall begin on 1 January of the following year after the year in which the legal act that is a reason to begin the relevant period have occurred
CL, art.20
Are works that are not fixed in some material form excluded from copyright? Yes
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of copyright under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? In part
The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (freedom of access to information)
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of copyright pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? In part
The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (freedom of access to information)
Are databases of non-original material excluded from copyright? No
Databases are protected as composite works. The legal protection provided to the database, does not apply to the data contained therein or information
CL, art.14
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? No
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter? In part
Protection of computer programs extends to all types of computer programs (including operating systems), which can be expressed in any language, in any form, including source code and object code. Any designing materials obtained during the creation of a computer program but not included in the created computer program, are not the part of the computer programs and they are protected as independent copyright objects if they have signs indicated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 6 of this Act. The author or other right holder in relation to a computer program has the exclusive right to perform or permit the installation of the computer program on a computer or other device, start and work with it (using facilities of this computer program) as well as other actions in accordance with Article 16 of this Law, with the exception of the cases provided in Article 39 of this Law.
CL, art.24(1)

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right? No
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? No
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? Yes
It is unnecessary to obtain permission of the author or other copyright holder and payment of remuneration for playback of copyright and related rights objects in the case when such reproduction is temporary and is an integral and essential part of the process data, which has the only purpose - the fair use of records of copyright or related right objects, and making them available to the public.
CL,art.40
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? Yes
Such materials are previously legally available to the public.
CL,art.40
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? Yes
Reproduction of extracts is allowed from lawfully published works (citing) in the original language or in translation of scientific, research, educational, polemical, critical or informational purposes only to the extent that justified the intended purpose. Public performance of works by non-professional performers and non-professional (amateur) teams of artistic creativity, including students and pupils, teaching and other employees of educational institutions is permitted, provided that such use is not intended to make a profit.
CL, art.32(2)
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? In part
Special provision is absent, but the articles can limit the copyright. Lawfully published works can be used with the obligatory indication of the author's works and the source of the borrowing as illustrations in publications, radio and television broadcasts, audio and video recordings of teaching and educational character measures to the extent justified by the educational purposes. Articles and other small works lawfully published in collections, as well as in newspapers, magazines and other printed media, extracts from lawfully published literary works can be reproduced by the reproduction and other reproduction by educational institutions for educational and research purposes.
CL, art.36
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? No
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? Yes
Lawfully published works can be used with the obligatory indication of the author's works and the source of the borrowing as illustrations in publications, radio and television broadcasts, audio and video recordings of teaching and educational character measures to the extent justified by educational purposes. Articles and other small works lawfully published in collections, as well as in newspapers, magazines and other printed media, extracts from lawfully published literary works can be reproduced by the reproduction and other reproduction by educational institutions for educational and research purposes.
CL, art.36
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? Yes
Permission of the author or copyright holder is not required to obtain and payment of remuneration during playback of copyright and related rights in the case where such reproduction is temporary and is an integral and essential part of the process data, which has the only purpose - the lawful use of records of copyright or related rights objects, and making them available to the public.
CL, art.40
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? In part
Providers also have a responsibility
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? No
Users are solely responsible for all the information that they pass through the channels of communication.
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? No
The right of integrity of the work means that it is permitted to make any changes, reductions and additions in the work without the consent of the author; the author may oppose to any distortion of his work, as well as any other encroachment on the work that could harm the author’s honour or reputation; after the author’s death the person having the exclusive right to the work, can make any changes, reductions or additions in the work, on condition that it doesn’t distort the author's intention, doesn’t affect the integrity of the perception of the work and it doesn’t contradict the author's will, expressed in a testament.
May computer software be copied for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? No
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? No
Not reflected in the Law on Copyright and Related Rights
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? No
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? Yes
Articles published legitimately in newspapers or magazines on current economic, political, social and religious issues, as well as work of the same character, transferred legitimately to the broadcast or cable, or based legitimately for public information in the Internet, can be reproduced in print media, as well as broadcast or cable by electronic media or in another way, if such actions haven’t been specifically prohibited by the author or other holder of this work.
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? In part
Political speeches, addresses, reports and other similar works spoken in public may be reproduced in print media, broadcast or cable by electronic media and any way that is justified by the information purpose. As a part of current affairs to the extent justified by informational purposes, works, fragments of musical works that are seen or heard during such events, can be reproduced in printed media, referred to the broadcast or cable by electronic media and another way.
May quotations be used for any purpose? No
Works published legitimately can be used with the obligatory indication of the author's works and the source of the borrowing as illustrations in publications, radio and television broadcasts, audio and video recordings of educational nature to the extent justified by educational purposes.
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? In part
Articles and other works published legitimately in collections, as well as newspapers, magazines and other printed works of media, fragments published legitimately from literary and other works can be reconstitute by the reproduction and other means without the for-profit libraries and archives at the request of individuals and juridical persons in academic, research and educational purposes.
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? Yes
Articles and other works published legitimately in collections, as well as newspapers, magazines and other printed works of media, fragments published legitimately from literary and other works can be reconstitute by the reproduction and other means without the for-profit libraries and archives at the request of individuals and juridical persons in academic, research and educational purposes.
CL, art.37(3)
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? Yes
Libraries and archives can reproduce and other reproduction without the aim to make a profit of works published legitimately for acquisition of a library and archival collections, replacing lost, destroyed or made unusable originals or copies of works. Copies are also made in digital form.
CL, art.37(2)
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? Yes
Works promulgated legitimately may be reproduced in Braille or other special means, which provide access to works for the visually impaired persons. This possibility does not apply to works created especially for appropriate modes of reproduction, as well as in works embodied in phonograms, and objects of related rights.
CL, art. 34(1)
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
CL, art.7
Are other governmental works excluded from copyright? Yes
1.State symbols of the Republic of Belarus (The national flag of the Republic of Belarus, the national Emblem of the Republic of Belarus and the national Hymn of the Republic of Belarus), symbols of the state awards of the Republic of Belarus (orders and medals), state signs (banknotes of the Republic of Belarus, postage stamps and other signs), official heraldic symbols (flags, emblems of administrative-territorial units of the Republic of Belarus, heraldic signs, banners, badges, emblems of government agencies, etc.); Works of folk art whose authors are unknown. 2. Copyright does not apply to ideas, methods, processes, systems, means, concepts, principles, discoveries and facts, even if they are expressed, displayed, explained or embodied in the work.
CL, art.7
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access license? No

Freedoms to share and transfer

Does the law permit a work to be released to the public domain before the copyright term expires, without any formality other than an overt act of relinquishment? No
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use? Yes
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? No
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? No
The right to import of a work is one of the exclusive rights of a copyright holder.
CL, art.16
Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? Yes
The possibility of concluding of a Copyright contract on a grant basis.
CL, a.45 (2)
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? No

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? Fines of 500 basic units (equivalent USD 5 645 (valid on 12/21/2009) CL, art.56
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? Fines of 500 basic units (equivalent USD 5 645 (valid on 12/21/2009) CL, art.56
Is innocent infringement of copyright treated differently by the law? No
Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? No
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? No
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the use of TPMs on copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for copyright infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds? No
Have major ISPs resisted requests from copyright owners to pass on allegations that their users have engaged in copyright infringement? No
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? Yes
Criminal liability
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? In part
Two ways of action exist in civil proceedings and they are based on actual loss sustained by the copyright holder and on the compensation, which is statutory damages award. Because in many cases it is impossible to prove loss sustained, and therefore compensation is much more popular course of action against copyright infringers.
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? No
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights? No

Conclusions

New edition of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Copyright and Related Rights" contains new forms, which promote to the free provision of information.

Certain rules greatly expand the opportunity of information and library services by using modern technologies. The most important are :

Article 37

  • the ability to create electronic copies of documents;
  • the ability to create digital copies of documents for users;
  • the ability to provide digital copies of documents in the remote access in order to mutual use of library resources;
  • greatly expanded the list of documents that can be reproduced as well as reproduced digitally.

Article 45

  • the possibility of concluding a treaty with the author on a grant basis.

Article 20

  • the term of copyrighti protection for 50 years.
  • the ability not to destroy a considerable amount of information that is public property.

 

 

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