Copyright Questionnaire 2017

28   May rights be transferred?

Once it arises, the copyright  may not be subject of translative succession; that is, copyright may not be subject to purchase-and-sale trans- actions, exchange (barter), donation, contribution in kind, etc.

The  only legally provided exception is upon  the author’s death when  the copyright  may be succeeded by  the author’s successors (either by will or by law) save for two moral rights which by law may not be exercised by successors (ie, the right to modify the work, provided that  this does  not infringe rights acquired by other persons;  and the right to stop the use of the work due to changes in beliefs).

29 May rights be licensed?

Under Bulgarian law, the legal terms ‘a licence’ and ‘to license’ formally (ie, by law) refer  only to industrial property objects (eg, trademarks, patents, industrial designs, etc). It is incorrect to use those terms for copyright (and neighbouring rights). The proper terms regarding copy- right under Bulgarian law are ‘use’ or ‘exploit’.

Having regard to the above, the formal  answer  is that rights may not be ‘licensed’ in the strict sense of the term.  What may be granted is the right of use.

In respect of the grant of the right of use, there are certain imperative limitations that may not be avoided  by contract (eg, an agreement whereby  the author  grants  the right of use of all author’s works to be created in future  is void; the use may be granted for a maximum of 10 years (except for architectural works where this does not apply), etc).

It is also important to note  that  those limitations generally apply in cases where the author has created the work at the author’s own initiative and subsequently decides to grant the right of use of the ready- made work to a third  party.  As opposed to that,  the scope of rights conferred by law (ie, not by contract) on employers and hiring parties (see questions 25 and 26) are not subject to time limitation unless otherwise agreed.

30 Are there compulsory licences? What are they?

Not applicable.