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New rules for copyright and geographical indications

The European Commission published the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe in 2015, the aim of which is the creation of a modern and more European copyright framework system. The Commission presented in 2016 its legislative proposals to modernise EU copyright law, which resulted in the adoption of two directives: one laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes (“SatCab Directive”) and another on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (“CDSM Directive”).

The Directives were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 17 May 2019 and the Member States had two years to transpose them. The Hungarian Copyright Act and the Act on the Joint Management of Copyrights and Related Rights already partially comply with the provisions of the Directives, but on certain points it was necessary to amend and supplement the legislation.

The CDSM Directive aims to modernise copyright law and adapt it to the digital environment. In order to comply with the CDSM Directive, based on the amended Copyright Act free use includes the reproduction necessary for the text and data mining of works if the work affected by the use has been lawfully accessed, the rightholder has not objected the fair use in advance and in an appropriate manner, and copies necessary for text and data mining are kept only for the time necessary for the purposes of text and data mining. Under certain conditions, free use may also mean the reproduction necessary for text and data mining of works for the purposes of scientific research carried out by research centres and cultural heritage institutions. Furthermore, a new chapter was introduced in the Copyright Act, dealing with the rules on the use of works not available for trade flows. In addition, another chapter contains the rules for the protection of publishers of press publications. In order to strengthen the position of authors and performers, a new provision is also introduced on the information obligation of the party contracting with authors and performers, under which the author and performer must receive comprehensive information at least once a year on the use of the copyright-relevant rights affected by licence or transfer, the revenue generated and the fees payable.

The Act on the Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications has also been amended. The amendment aims at aligning the domestic legal environment with the revised Geneva text of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications and the Lisbon Agreement on the Protection and International Registration of Appellations of Origin. A notable change is the update of the procedural rules for international applications. The amendment also brings the necessary changes to the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of spirit drink names in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs, the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks, the use of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin and distillates in alcoholic beverages.