Internet-Conference : August 2001
"Author's Rights"

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: Introduction

Author's rights are a very actual topic, taking into account Ukrainian law news and the campaign held by foreign medias (and not only by medias, but by governments, as well) concerning pirate production practices, which are supposed to flourish in Ukraine.
A bit of history. In the USSR some author's rights were protected. For example, theatre, concert and even restaurant managers (they all were paid by the State) wrote reports about the music works performed in their venues every evening, and some part of the income was transferred to the State Author's Rights Agency, which then distributed all the money to the authors according to some rules. Some composers (of pop music) could get huge sums of money, unrealizable for average Soviet citizens and even for the best Soviet musicians-performers.
From another part, Soviet electronic mass media (radio and TV) did not pay anything for broadcasting.
In Ukraine nowadays there is NO clear law for protection of author's rights. As a matter of fact, the authors loose any possibility to have profit from their work after it is produced or published. If the sellers of CDs and the radios may pay anything to producers, they don't pay anything to authors.
In show business it is easier to control the situation, but the most shows are the area of gray and black business, so the financial documentation does not always demonstrate the real situation there.
Practically, there are no organizations able to control the situation, and if any, there are no law procedures for doing it.
Another problem is the lack of international contacts due to similar reasons.
As a result, the few Ukrainian composers of serious music have since a long time collaborated with German, French, or American agencies, which have protected their rights in all countries, except Ukraine.
May be, the principal question is not the absence of the law and necessary structures, but why is there no will to have them?
Although the possible profit by Ukrainian composers (even of pop music) cannot be very large at the moment, the most of them really would like to get any. From another part, the most music being sold at Ukrainian shops and broadcast by Ukrainian MM comes from abroad, and the money for using the rights should go abroad. Is it bad for Ukraine? May be, quite the contrary, it would be good, because the percent of Ukrainian music in trading and broadcasting could be increasing?

: Participants

O.Perepelytsya, PhD, manager; K.Tsepkolenko, PhD, composer, festival leader; O.Rovenko, PhD, musicologist; O.Sokol, PhD, musicologist, manager; I.Golubov, composer; S.Ship, musicologist; H.Vladymyrska, journalist; A.Shelkovenko, businessman; R.Brodavko, journalist; I.Malyshev, PhD, musicologist; S.Vasylenko, conductor, festival leader, manager; A.Revenko, vocalist, manager; a.o.
O.Kozarenko, PhD, composer, musicologist and manager; V.Kamins'kyj, composer; L.Kyjanovs'ka, PhD, musicologist; J.Erminy, pianist; a.o.
V.Huba, composer; V.Hodziats'kyj, composer; O.Zinkevych, PhD, musicologist; V.Zubytskyj, composer; L.Olijnyk, PhD, musicologist, manager; N.Kuliaeva, PhD, musicologist; V.Runchak, composer, conductor, festival leader; I.Miniaev, manager; a.o.
Moscow (Russia)
M.Bronner, composer; E.Podgaits, composer; A.Rovner, PhD, composer and musicologist; M.Esipova, PhD, musicologist; a.o.
Yerevan (Armenia)
M.Kokzhaev, composer; T.Movsisisn, PhD, musicologist; a.o.
Chisinau (Moldova)
V.Beleaev, composer and manager; P.Rivilis, composer, a.o.
Almaty (Kazakhstan)
A.Samarkin, PhD, musicologist
Bishkek (Kyrghyzstan)
K.Medetbekova, composer

: Summary

The majority of the participants consider that Ukraine need clear and firm law of author's rights and an author's rights agency under state protection for guaranteeing the implementing of such a law.

May be, the easiest thing would be to borrow the law and practices of the countries which have successfully in the area, e.g. of Germany (GEMA)?

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