Abutalib Samadov: Most of audio & video products, books and software in sale are pirated

Abutalib Samadov: Most of audio & video products, books and software in sale are pirated
# 14 June 2007 13:38 (UTC +04:00)
Director General of Azerbaijan Copyright Agency Abutalib Samadov’s interview to the APA

- What activities are being carried out for protection of copyrights?
- Our cooperation with relevant bodies of Interior Ministry, Antimonopoly Policy Service of Economic Development Ministry, Culture and Tourism Ministry, Education Ministry, Ombudsman and other organizations is very useful for our activity. We attach special importance to the registration of works, improvement of registration and juridical enlightenment in protection of author’s rights. If the work is registered copyright are protected in the court. The agency has given certificates to 4,400 works since 1997. Over 200 works and 10 author’s contracts have been registered since the beginning of 2007 up to now.
- What actions are being taken against piracy?
- Combating piracy is not only in the competence of the agency. It requires complex approach by law-enforcement bodies jointly with other related bodies. A special monitoring group has been set up in the agency to monitor audio, video and book markets in order to prevent violation of copyrights and related rights, strengthen struggle against piracy. The group monitored wholesale and retail trade establishments in Baku in February to determine whether legislation is observed in production, sale and import and audio and video products. The monitoring found that over 70-80% of audio-video products are pirated. The outcomes of the monitoring were sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. Criminal case has been launched on the fact in Baku Prosecutor’s Office, investigation is under way. Book market was also monitored. Over 70% of the books are pirated. Translation works, textbooks are mainly piratical. The outcomes of the monitoring will also be sent to law-enforcement bodies. 90% of software are piratical. There is a need to strengthen the struggle against computer piracy. The agency gave some proposals to the Cabinet. The proposals are being considered and the government is expected to pass a corresponding decision. It is to be taken into consideration that is the copyright is breached it means the breach of tax, antimonopoly policy and unfair rival. Everyone should fight against piracy. We are looking for new prompt and effective ways of cooperation with the Taxes, Education , Culture and Tourism, Communication and Information Technology Ministries, State Customs Committee, Supreme Attestation Commission, Antimonopoly Service of Economic Development Ministry, creative organizations and relevant agencies on fighting piracy. Moreover, it would be expedient to establish State Committee on fighting antimonopoly from the members and experts of relevant agencies to enhance the effectiveness on fighting piracy.
- How do you appreciate the current state of control over fighting piracy in recording studios and publishing houses?
- It is impossible to fight piracy with effective legislation acts in any part of the world as well as in Azerbaijan. This work should have prompt fighting mechanisms, skilled experts and of course, resistance inside society. The number of pirated products outnumbers legal products in the market. One of the prevention measures is controlling recording studios and licensing them. It is to be enlightened by media. The establishment of regional units could enhance activity of fighting piracy.
<>b>- Does the legislation presuppose responsibility for breach of copyright?
- According to the current legislation breach of copyright and linking rights create civil, administrative and criminal responsibility.
There is deep contrast between damages of suffered party and responsibility for breach of copyright in Administrative Reprimand and Criminal Code. According to Article 50 of Administrative Reprimands Code, the breach of intellectual property rights presuppose penal (between 16.6 and 44 AZN) if the suffered party received damage in 1100 AZN. Is it fair?. The same punishment is applicable when the piracy is carried out by organized group. This condition also presuppose penalty in 500 or 1000 times or 3-year-sentence. Though Azerbaijan signed all international conventions, there is no prompt and effective legislation in Azerbaijan in this field. Fore instance, though Article 162 of Criminal Code presupposes instituting criminal case for breach of copyright and relevant rights, Article 165.1 makes it possible only bringing special action against it.
If copyright is violated, criminal case can not been launched at the initiative of Prosecutor’s Office or the Copyright Agency. The adoption of the Agency’s proposals regarding amendments in Administrative, Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes for strengthening protection and ensure of world intellectual property rights can improve the situation in this field. Sometimes court decisions are not fulfilled which causes serious dissatisfaction.
- What preventive measures are being taken against Armenians’ pirating Azerbaijani authors’ works?
- Armenians have been stealing and destructing material-cultural heritage of our nation for a long time. Armenians’ pirating the works of Azerbaijani authors is not new. Armenians pursuing aggressive policy, introduce some parts of Uzeyir Hajibayov’s “Arshin mal alan”, “O olmasin bu olsun”, “Koroglu” operas, stories and tales such as “Asli and Karam”, “Malikmammad” as Armenian examples. They pirate our popular songs “Sari galin”, “Vagzali”, “Yalli”, “Uzundara”, “Mirzayi”. Armenians not satisfying with it, they do not refrain from stealing plays of our modern composers. Armenian also tried to pirate Azerbaijani singer Brilliant Dadashova’s “Vokaliz” music collection. But the Agency interfered in it and appealed to World Intellectual Property Organization regarding it. Armenians also wanted to steal world-known Azerbaijani composer Fikrat Amirov’s famous “Kor arabin mahnisi” (“Arab’s song”). They spread this song by making clip. We expressed out satisfaction officially to the World Intellectual Property Organization. If this international organization does not take any measures to or satisfaction, we will use all the means of international law then. /APA/