Croatia/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The Law on Copyright and Related Rights was adopted in November 2003 (amended in 2007, 2011 2012, 2013 and 2014) and brought Croatian regulations into line with EU regulations.

The Croatian model follows the droit d'auteur tradition. Both in theoretical deliberations and in legal texts, it follows the continental European tradition on the protection of moral rights which has been incorporated in the text of the Law passed in 2003.

The Law includes provisions for the "fair use" of copyright material for educational purposes without remuneration. It regulates the use of "private copying" and adequate remuneration through provisions for blank tape levies.

According to Croatian legislation, authors and performers have exclusive rights of public performance while the owners of secondary rights (i.e. phonogram producers) have the right of remuneration for secondary use. The process of negotiations for full membership in the EU brought some additional changes in the existing legislation as a consequence of the further harmonisation with the acquis communautaire, particularly with regard to the anticipated enforcement of the public lending right provisions. The Agreement was signed in 2013, but still no further changes on implementation were made. It was announced that funding will be secured in the Ministry of Culture’s budget for 2015.

Associations registered as collective rights management associations are:

  • Croatian Composers' Society, Collecting Society (ZAMP-HDS);
  • Croatian Performers' Rights Collecting Society (HUZIP);
  • Protection, Collection and Distribution of Phonogram Producers' Rights Society (ZAPRAF);
  • Croatian Film Directors Guild (DHFR);
  • Society for Protection of Publishers Rights (ZANA);
  • Croatian Association of Writers (DHK);
  • Society for Protection of Journalists' Authors' Rights (DZNAP); and
  • Croatian Association for Protection of Artistic Works "ARS CROATICA".

Regarding individual rights management – the Croatian Authors' Agency Centre for Intellectual Ownership ltd. (HAA) is a legal successor of the Croatian Authors' Agency that has been in charge of authors' rights and their legal successors for over 55 years, representing them and promoting the importance of copyright.

In order to improve the efficiency of the enforcement system of intellectual property rights, a permanent mechanism of coordinating enforcement tasks and activities of intellectual property rights has been established in the Republic of Croatia in the course of 2010, based on the National Strategy for the Development of the Intellectual Property System of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2010 – 2012. The related coordination model operates on several levels, through permanent coordination bodies and coordination subgroups, and ad hoc working groups to provide support to individual professional activities.

Many issues still remain unresolved regarding the audiovisual works from the Yugoslav period, and this has especially been a pertinent issue in regards to protection of audiovisual heritage. Additionally, many issues connected to rights of screenwriters need to be dealt with that will be addressed by the Screenwriters’ Guild that was established in 2016.

In November 2014 Croatian Composers' Society, Collecting Society (ZAMP-HDS) has signed contracts with YouTube (for remunerating authors from advertisements shown before or after clips of their music) and with Google for licensing music of Croatian authors in Google Media Player Service.


Chapter published: 04-05-2017


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