Cyprus: The implementation of Directive 2017/1564
Cyprus has prepared a bill to transpose EU Directive 2017/1564 on certain permitted uses of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled (the "Directive"). The bill aims to amend the Cypriot Copyright and Related Rights Act of 1976, in order to harmonise Cypriot EU law with the Directive.
The aim of the Directive is to improve availability of works and other subject matters in accessible formats for beneficiaries through the establishment of mandatory exception from copyright and related rights throughout EU. The Directive is part of the EU legislative plan to implement obligations resulting from the Marrakesh Treaty into the EU. The first part of this effort is the Regulation 2017/1563 on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled, which focus specifically on the international cross-border exchange of accessible format copies for beneficiary persons.
Although the Regulation 2017/1563 applies since 12 October 2018, the Directive 2017/1564 has not yet been transposed in all Member States (it should have been transposed by 11 October 2018), including Cyprus.
EDPI ("Ενωση Δικαιωμάτων Πνευματικής Ιδιοκτησίας Κύπρου") has been asked to submit comments in relation to the bill. One point of interest is that Cyprus has made a political decision not to transpose Article 3(6) of Directive 2017/1564, which states that "Member States may provide that uses permitted under this Directive, if undertaken by authorised entities established in their territory, be subject to compensation schemes within the limits provided for in this Directive." Article 2(4) of the Directive defines an authorised entity as "an entity that is authorised or recognised by a Member State to provide education, instructional training, adaptive reading or information access to beneficiary persons on a non-profit basis. It also includes a public institution or non-profit organisation that provides the same services to beneficiary persons as one of its primary activities, institutional obligations or as part of its public-interest missions". This means that such entities will be able to avail themselves of the permitted uses of copyright-protected works set out in the Directive, without paying fees or royalties to do so.
The rest of the bill is very much in line with the Directive. The bill has not yet been put before the Plenary of the House of Representatives. We will aim to follow the progress of its enactment and keep you updated.
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