Copyright Questionnaire 2017
8 What may not be protected by copyright?
Normative and individual acts of government authorities; acts of courts; ideas and concepts; folklore works; news, facts, information and data are not protected by copyright.
9 Do the doctrines of ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’ exist?
Under Bulgarian law, the doctrine of ‘free use’ applies, which means use without the copyright holder’s permission (but not necessarily without payment of compensation). By express reference in the law, it also applies to neighbouring rights.
10 What are the standards used in determining whether a particular use is fair?
The general principle is that the ‘free use’ is only permitted in a limited number of situations expressly listed in the law and under the conditions that (i) it does not impede the normal use of the work and (ii) it does not prejudice the copyright holder’s legitimate interests.
Generally, there are two types of ‘free use’: without payment of compensation (not applicable for computer programs); and with payment of fair compensation (not applicable for computer programs and architectural works). Any ‘free use’, however, has to be made without removal, damaging, destroying or disruption of the technical measures (as defined in the CNRA) for protection without the copyright holder’s consent.
In certain situations of ‘free use’ expressly listed in the law, users who want to benefit from the ‘free use’, but are prevented by technical measures of protection, may request from the holder of the copyright the relevant access to an extent justified by the purpose. However, that does not apply to situations where works or other protected objects have been made available on a contractual basis to an unlimited number of persons in a way allowing access from a place and at a time individually chosen by each of them.
11 Are architectural works protected by copyright? How?
Yes, they are. However, their protection somewhat steers away from the fundamental principle established in article 5(2) of the Berne Convention and taken over in Bulgarian copyright law that the enjoy- ment and the exercise of the copyright shall not be subject to any for- mality. In 2011, some very controversial amendments were introduced in respect of architectural works that have attracted a lot of criticism.
According to the legal definition of ‘works of architecture’ those are ‘projects of buildings and facilities, spatial plans and schemes, approved under the effective legislation, buildings and other facilities and their elements, permanent objects representing the synthesis of architecture with other arts, as well as the layouts of interiors of permanent nature registered by a [collective management] organisation under Article 40.’ It is apparent that the legal definition itself provides for certain formalities of approval and registration in the absence of which no copyright should arise.
The situation is also confusing and controversial with regard to ‘architectural projects’. Following the amendments in 2011, ‘architec- tural projects’ have been stated as a separate category of works outside architectural works (see question 6). In addition to that, they need to be approved, which also appears as a formality to the arising of copyright.