YEREVAN, September 30. /ARKA/. Armenia’s National Assembly passed the amendments to the country’s law about copyright and related rights to regulate copyrights for mass media, Novosti-Armenia reported.
It is the first attempt in Armenia to maintain copyright in print and online media, said MP Arpine Hovhannisian who co-authored the draft amendment.
The bill suggests a number of rules to be observed, she said. First of all, text may be reproduced only to an extent when not the entire information is reflected and there is still need for referring to the source, she said. The bill also says the reproduction should not have a negative impact on number of readers of the primary source.
“This is only a first step to enable courts setting criteria. Armenia has not had such precedents in this field, but worldwide even a sentence of 11 words reflecting the essence was declared an extent not justified by the purpose”, Hovhannisian said.
According to the co-author of the bill, news may be considered subject matter to copyright if a court finds specific interpretation of facts in the news.
If a reporter writes news as part of his or her duties, then it is the employer who owns the copyright, unless the opposite is mentioned in the employment contract. In case of interviews both interviewer and the newsmaker own the copyright.
News may be reproduced fully only if authorized by the rightholder, she said. The bill also introduces such a term as hyperlink for the first time, she added.
The bill envisages that a reference to the source should be made in print media and an active link should be available in news of online outlets.
“If the court establishes a violation, the rightholder may demand compensation of 100,000-200,000 drams (about 243-487 dollars)”, she said.
Hovhannisian also said no exhaustive definitions could be given in the bill due to individuality of each case and specificity of the field.
“There is solidarity among reporters in Armenia as no legal action has been brought so far despite the fact there is such an opportunity under the law even today. The new bill specifies details and is to help in cases when all other means within journalism ethics are exhausted”, she said.–0--