If you are a right holder of copyrighted works, you can manage alone all aspects of their licensing. In this way you may be able to determine all the terms and conditions for each use of your work.
However it may be difficult for the users to make contact with each right holder in order to receive permission for using their copyrighted works. Moreover, the right holder himself may face the same difficulties when it comes to watching for violations of his rights. That is why the membership of the author or the right holder in a collective rights management organization may be very efficient.
The law that determines the activities of those organizations in Bulgaria is the Law on Copyright and Related Rights according to which they cannot have profit. Moreover these organizations are determined to distribute their income between the relevant right holders and deduct a certain amount in order to fulfill their activities.
Collective rights management organizations play the role of a mediator between users and right holders. The main responsibilities of those organizations are the following:
– Documentation of their members’ work
– Licensing and collecting the royalties on behalf of their members
– Collecting information for using their work and providing it to their members
– Distribution of the collected royalties between their members
These organizations conclude several types of contracts.
- A contract between the organization and the right holders. In this way the organization gains the right to negotiate the use of their works in one or more ways, and the right to collect fees.
- A contract between the organization and the users. In this way the user gets the legal right to use the copyrighted work in a certain way. However they have to pay royalties in order to get that right.
- A contract between the organization and organizations from other countries, related to it for mutual representation.
It is important to mention that collective rights management organizations are controlled by the Ministry of Culture. That is why the amount of the remuneration collected by them must be approved by it. The Ministry must also maintain a register of these organizations.
On the other hand these organizations are obliged to send a copy from their financial statement along with a report for their activities to the minister. In this way they provide information for their development, members, related organizations from other countries, users, collected royalties and their distribution, etc.
In conclusion, where there are violations, the Minister by order gives mandatory instructions for their removal, and failure to follow these instructions may result in cancellation of the registration of the organization.
Author: Dimitrina Papagalska