The Act of 27 October 2017 amending the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, the Corporate Income Tax Act and the Flat Income Tax on Certain Revenues Performed by Individuals Act amended the PIT Act to introduce categories of creative activity which entitle authors to settle 50% of their tax deductible expenses and doubled the annual limit of tax deductible expenses. Following doubts over the shortcoming of the amendments, the legislature decided to remedy their scope.
A recent disagreement over a logotype illustrates a common situation where acquirers of an author's economic copyrights are convinced that they have exclusive rights to all forms of use and modification of the work without the need to obtain the author's consent. However, the reality is that in addition to the transfer of an author's economic copyright, agreements should also cover the possibility of making changes and using the modified works.
In a long-running dispute, well-known musician Małgorzata Ostrowska took legal action concerning the use of songs, for which she had written the lyrics, against Grzegorz Stróżniak, her former band colleague and the composer and co-author of the songs. As the dispute could not be settled amicably, Ostrowska turned to the courts for help and asked for the right to manage the disputed songs to be transferred to the collective management organisation for free, without the need to obtain Stróżniak's consent.
A recent Supreme Court judgment explains the scope and methods of protection by entrepreneurs against the unauthorised disclosure of trade secrets by former employees. In addition, it distinguishes the possibility of a violation of someone's trade secrets by the same person, acting as an employee or unauthorised person, depending on whether said person has obtained information constituting a trade secret within or outside the employment relationship.
The Supreme Court recently issued a notable judgment concerning the work of a deceased artist and the alleged infringement of his moral copyright. The decision underlines that it is difficult to limit the activities of people who have been gifted the work of an artist even after the artist's death, especially in the case of a close personal relationship between the artist and the beneficiaries.
The Constitutional Tribunal recently found that the information claim mechanism provided for in the Industrial Property Law does not comply with the Constitution. Following the tribunal's ruling, the scope of the legal mechanisms to obtain information to determine the scale of an IP infringement has been reduced. However, the decision also makes it possible to protect entrepreneurs from the unjustified and unnecessary disclosure of business secrets.
Andrzej Sapkowski, a well-known Polish writer and author of The Witcher fantasy saga, recently requested additional remuneration of at least Z60 million from CD Projekt for a video game based on his work. Following the game's worldwide success, Sapkowski claimed under Article 44 of the Copyright Act that the remuneration granted to him was too low relative to the benefits derived from the exploitation of his work.
The Copyright Law provides no legal definition of what constitutes an 'audiovisual work', which has resulted in problems regarding the remuneration of authors and the role of collective management organisations in this context. The practical issues concerning remuneration for the use of audiovisual works underline the need to amend the Copyright Law, as the existing legislative gaps cannot be resolved by case law alone.
The Polish legislature is in the process of implementing the EU Trade Secrets Directive. The new legislation is considered to be generally compliant with the directive and is likely to come into force on June 9 2018. While the legislature should be praised for its attempt to implement the directive on time, work appears to be progressing too quickly in order to discover and eliminate possible deficiencies and guarantee the directive's full implementation.
There is an urgent need to improve the collective management system in Poland. The recent proposed introduction of the extended collective licensing model offers a chance to solve the existing legal and practical problems, but any such change should be considered and consistent with the whole collective management system in order to avoid further complications and the creation of new weaknesses in the legal framework.