The Estonian Perspective on the Transposition of the Directive on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights

Author:Kärt Nemvalts, Aleksei Kelli

The article considers some key aspects of transposition of the Directive on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights into Estonian legislation. Estonia’s collective management system has been in place for more than 20 years without any substantial need for review. It is therefore disputable whether the requirements created by the directive improve the Estonian copyright system or not,... (see full summary)

Kärt Nemvalts Aleksei Kelli
Mag. iur. Associate Professor
Adviser, Private Law Division of Intellectual Property Law
Ministry of Justice University of Tartu
The Estonian Perspective
on the Transposition of
the Directive on Collective
Management of Copyright
and Related Rights
1. Introduction
The collective management of copyright and related rights in independent Estonia*1 has a relatively short
history in comparison to many other European countries. The Estonian Copyright Act*2 contains a separate
chapter on collective rights management (CRM).*3 Absence of state supervision of collective management
organisations (CMOs) distinguishes Estonia from many other EU countries.*4 There has not been any sub-
stantial need to review this approach in the Estonian Copyright Act. The regulatory framework for CMOs’
activities has functioned well; therefore, it has not been signi cantly amended.*5
1 Since it is not relevant in the context of this article, the authors do not address the collective rights management during the
Soviet period. However, it should be mentioned that on 27 February 1973, the Soviet Union became a party to the Geneva
version, of 1952, of the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). The UCC entered effect in the USSR on 27 May 1973. In the
same year (on 20 September), the All-Union Agency on Copyrights (Vsesoiuznoe agentstvo po avtorskim pravam, or VAAP)
was established. This body managed copyrights on foreign works in the USSR and also the copyrights on Soviet works abroad.
See M. Boguslavski. Rahvusvahelise autoriõiguse kaitse NSV Liidus (Protection of International Copyrights in the Soviet
Union). Tallinn: Kirjastus “Eesti Raamat” 1976, pp. 16–17, 53–54.
2 Autoriõiguse seadus. – RT I, 29.10.2014, 4 (in Estonian). English text available at
eli/531102014005/consolide (most recently accessed on 20.2.2015).
3 Chapter IX of the Copyright Act.
4 This does not mean that CMOs are totally free in their activities from government interference and control. For instance,
according to the Copyright Act, ‘the Government of the Republic shall establish by a regulation the procedure for payment
of remuneration to compensate for private use of audio-visual works and sound recordings of works and the list of storage
media and recording devices’ (§27 (14) 1)).
5 Actually, the whole Copyright Act currently in force has functioned relatively well, and we can acknowledge the high-quality
work done by its drafters in the early 1990s. For further discussion of the history of the Estonian copyright system, see
H. Pisuke. Developments in Estonian Intellectual Property Law: Some Issues concerning Copyright and Related Rights. –
Juridica International 1999/IV, pp. 166–171.

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