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The activity of the Task Force against Piracy

Based on the strategy against piracy, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, at its meeting held on 30 January 2013 established the "Task Force" to combat Piracy and Counterfeiting in the field of copyright.

The Task Force shall implement the strategy against piracy and counterfeiting and its action plan, through coordinated actions between the competent participating institutions. According to the decision for the establishment, in the meetings of the Task Force can be invited institutions and other independent organizations.

The decision of the Government of Kosovo, dated 30 January 2013, No. 16/114, defined the mission of the Task Force, which is:

1. Implementation of the Strategy against counterfeiting and piracy 2012-2016 and the Action Plan;

2. Coordination of the activities of the institutions in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in order to undertake concrete actions by the competent institutions and organs that are part of the Task Force and other institutions related to the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the field of copyright;

3. Sensitization of law enforcement institutions, and the public in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the field of copyright;

4. Proposal of legislation related to the implementation of the strategy against counterfeiting and piracy in the field of copyright;

The Task Force held its constitutive meeting on 13 February 2013, where its members have discussed the modalities of the fulfillment  of the mission provided by the decision of the Government of Kosovo. In order to implement the decision, the Internal Labor Regulation has been approved, by which it is determined the way of taking decisions in the Task Force, and the realization of its actions.

The Task Force has decided to conduct its actions in two separate phases:

1. First phase:

This phase begins on the occasion of the International Day of Intellectual Property on 26 March 2013, its purpose is to raise awareness of the public about copyright, its importance to society and to prepare all the entities about the consequences they will face in case their activity constitutes a violation of the law of copyright and related rights.

At this stage, all entities will have the opportunity to obtain authorizations and contracts by the rights holders for the production, distribution or sale of products that are protected by copyright. This is the way the informal economy will be fought , which undermines the creative industry as well as the budget of Kosovo.

At this stage, trainings and study visits will be implemented  for members of the police,  inspectors of the market inspectorate and other law enforcement entities regarding the most effective ways to combat piracy.

2. Second phase:

At this stage, the actions of the Task Force will be carried out mainly in the field, and includes taking administrative and criminal measures by the competent authorities against persons suspected that by their actions have violated copyright and rights related, respectively, perpetrating  the act of piracy .

The Task Force is drawing an action plan for its actions in the field, taking into account all the specifics of this organized state intervention against the perpetrators of the act of piracy.

In order to investigate and prevent piracy in the whole territory of the Republic of Kosovo, coordinated actions will be organized by the competent institutions. And if suspected the pirated material exist, the same shall be seized or confiscated, as well as equipment which is used to produce them will be seized or confiscated. In this respect, it has also been planned fighting Internet piracy.

The perpetrators of piracy will also face criminal charges, based on the Criminal Code, from 1 January 2013, the infringement of copyright and related rights constitute a criminal offense. Specifically, the Article 296 protects the right holders, respectively it sanctions the violation of property and moral part of copyright. This article provides criminal sanctions with fines and imprisonment from three months to eight years. Moreover it envisages the confiscation of the items and equipment for their production. But, also avoiding technological measures for the protection of materials protected by copyright, is sanctioned as defined under Article 297.

It can be concluded that the implementation of the Strategy against Piracy and Counterfeiting, and the Action Plan, as well as the realization of the mission of the Task Force Against Piracy, will have a positive impact, first in meeting government priorities and achieving European standards, as well meeting the challenges found in the progress report of the European Commission related to the implementation of copyright. Secondly, it will have a positive effect on increasing the quality and quantity of creative creations, by helping the creative community in raising their income for their creations, and thus affecting the growth of revenues for the Kosovo Tax Administration.

And finally, the Strategy and the Task Force will have a positive impact on improving the image of the Republic of Kosovo, as a country and a market, where the rights of intellectual property are respected, namely copyright and related rights.