Albania

Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
The copyright over a literary or artistic work shall run for the life of the author and 70 years after his death, irrespective of the date when the work has been lawfully available to the public.
LC, Article 21
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? No
Under organic legislation there is not any special provision in accordance with the court or tribunal has the competence to determine if any right holder must come under compulsory licensing and furthermore to decide that royalties might be defined by dominant right holders.
ACO
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? No
According to the Albanian Copyright Office, a case like this does not exist.
ACO
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? No
Collections of works, contributions, databases or other materials which, because of selection or arrangement of their contents, constitute the author’s own intellectual private creation, shall be protected as such by copyright.
LC, Article 8 (b)
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? No
The author enjoys the exclusive right of exploitation over his work in any form and way.
LC, Articles 12, 13
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter? Yes
Computer software is the object of copyright.A computer program shall be protected only if it is original, in the sense that it is the result of the author’s own intellectual creation.
LC, Article 7 (a), Article 76 (1) (2) (3); LIP, Article 5/2 (c)

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? Yes
Briefing, citation or reproduction of a work or parts of it shall always be accompanied by mentioning the title of the work and the name of the author, the publisher and, in case of a translation, the name of the translator.
LC, Article 27 (3)
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? No
Technological protection measures are a notion involved and elaborated in the new draft proposed for amendments. There are not provided any technological protection measures in the current legislation.
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? Yes
Preparation of a back-up copy by a person enjoying the right over the use of a computer program,whenever one is necessary for the respective use, may not be prevented by contract.
LC, Article 82 (2)
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? Yes
Reproduction of a work fixed in a container of the sound and/or of the figure, or in a graphic container, by a natural person, for purposes of individual or familiar usage,and without performing any direct or indirect commercial act.
LC, Article 26 (e)
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? Yes
In anthologies for educational purposes, the reproduction of the work or parts of it must not exceed the extent defined by the legal provisions and by-laws in force.
LC, Article 27 (2)
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? Yes
We can treat it to the extent of research or private studies.
LC, Article 26
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? Yes
LC, Article 27 (2)
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? Yes
LC, Article 27 (2)
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? In part
The author enjoys the exclusive right, taking into consideration his work as a whole or in part, to authorize the direct or indirect, temporary or permanent reproduction of the work, by any means or in every form. As far as the restrictions of the rights for the producers of the phonographic records is concerned, temporary fixation by the part of a broadcasting organization through its own facilities and for its own broadcasts is excepted from copyright. Meanwhile, under the exclusive rights of the author for the exploitation of the computer programs, temporary or permanent reproduction of a computer program by any means and in any form, in part or as a whole. Insofar as loading, displaying in the screen, running, transmission or storage of the computer program necessitate such reproduction, such acts shall be subject to the preliminary authorization by the right holders.
LC, Article 13/2 (a), Article 63/1 (c), Article 81 (a)
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? No
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? Yes
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? No
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? Yes
LC, Article 83
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? No
The authors of the music, of the musical compositions and of the texts accompanying the music or the title holders of the rights over these works, enjoy the right to get special remuneration for each performance directly provided by the persons communicating the work into public. In case of not existence of an agreement between parties, the author or the title holder of the author’s rights enjoy the right to ask the respective organs to define the amount of remuneration, pursuant to the criteria set by this law.
LC, Article 68 (3)
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? No
The law does not include explicitly parodies or satires as an exception.
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? Yes
News and press information are not object of the copyright and does not enjoy the protection according to this law.
LC, Article 9 (e)
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? Yes
Briefing, citation or reproduction of exceptions or parts of a work for purposes of critical studies, or for discussions or theoretical purposes, is permitted within the extent of these aims, on the condition that these acts do not prejudice the commercial exploitation of the work.
LC, Article 27 (1)
May quotations be used for any purpose? Yes
Briefing, citation or reproduction of a work or parts of it shall always be accompanied by mentioning the title of the work and the name of the author, the publisher and, in case of a translation, the name of the translator.
LC, Article 27 (3)
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? Yes
The photocopy of works that are located in public libraries, which are made for individual usage within this environment or for the services of the library.
LC, Article 26 (f)
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? Yes
LC, Article 26 (f)
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? Yes
LC, Article 26 (f)
Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners?
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? No
Albanian Law on Copyright does not provide for it.
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
The official texts of a legal, administrative,legislative, political nature and their respective official translations are excluded from copyright.
LC, Article 9 (b)
Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? Yes
The official texts of a legal, administrative,legislative, political nature and their respective official translations are excluded from copyright.
LC, Article 9 (b)
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? No

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? No
There is no special provision under the law. This right is given to the right holder's discretion.
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use? No
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? No
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? Yes
The author enjoys the exclusive right to import, export and distribution of the copies of the works produced with the author’s consent.
LC, Article 13/2 (c)
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? No
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? $500 to 4 years imprisement. LC, Article130 (h)
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? $500 to 4 years imprisement. LC, Article 130(h)
Is innocent infringement of IP 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
Technological protection measures are a notion involved and elaborated in the new draft proposed for amendments. There are not provided any technological protection measures in the current legislation.
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? No
Technological protection measures are a notion involved and elaborated in the new draft proposed for amendments. There are not provided any technological protection measures in the current legislation.
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
Technological protection measures are a notion involved and elaborated in the new draft proposed for amendments. There are not provided any technological protection measures in the current legislation.
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds? No
The reproduction of the work or of a part of it may be permitted without the author’s or right holder’s consent in the case of lending of these works by public institutions that owe the legal original copies of the work, only for cultural advertisement and not for profit aims.
LC, Article 29 (1)
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court? No
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? Yes
LC, Articles 118 to 129, PC, Articles 147 to 149.
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? No
Except minimum and maximum amount of fines applied for copyright infringement, the right holder can claim for compensation to civil or criminal court.
LC, Articles 121 to 130
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? Yes
There are only civil sanction to penalize the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement.
LC, Articles 118 to 129
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights? No
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

As regards consumer protection, existing Albanian Law on Copyright results to some extent friendly. Considering the law exceptions and limitations to copyright the following use of a copyrighted work can be made without permision of the author and without any payement:  reproduction of parts of the work made for informational purpose, reproduction of speeches made during public gathering made for informational purpose, reproduction for judicial or administrative procedures, full or partial reproduction for personal use, provided commercial interest of the copyright holder is preserved, reproduction made by libraries for their services, quotation for studies purposes, reproduction for educational purposes.

While related to TPM/DRM, there are not provided in the current legislation. They are included in the new draft proposed for amendments.

As a final point, we can conclude that the current Albanian Law on Copyright does not fulfil the expectations and requirements of the EU Enforcement Directive. However, there are certain provisions that allow for copyright and neighbouring rights enforcement. Moreover, the ACO lack the administrative capacity to strengthen the copyright protection. Most important, the national strategy on intellectual property protection is still to be designed.

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