History of Ukrainian Agency of Copyright

The history of copyright and its protection on the territory of Ukraine extends back over two centuries and is inextricably connected with the history of Ukraine. It was late XIX century when first Ukrainian authors’ and playwrights’ societies were formed and began their activities. In 1928 the first national law “On Copyright” was adopted.
In the 20-s of the XX century first Ukrainian playwriters’ and composers’ society whose active leader was a famous play writer Mykola Kulish was already in existence. In the 30-s – 60-s of the XX century along with the creative organizations of writers, composers and artists began their formation first copyright organizations of Ukraine mainly aiming at copyright protection.

Management of copyright protection (MCP) becomes one of the first and leading organizations. In 1938 it becomes a member of the All-Union management of copyright protection (AUMCP) being also joined by the organizations from Caucasus, Central Asia and Belarus. The AUMCP’s objective was a copyright protection of publishing and public performance. After the Soviet Union joined the World Copyright Convention in 1973, All-Union Copyright Agency (AUCA) was established on the basis of AUMCP.

In Ukraine, as well as in the other republics of the former USSR, there was a Ukrainian republican branch of the All-Union Copyright Agency (URB AUCA), which carried out copyright protection , collection, distribution, and royalties payment for the use of works on the territory of Ukraine . In 1989 URB AUCA was renamed as

the Ukrainian Republican Copyright Agency (URCA). After declaration of independence of Ukraine the formation of a national system of copyright protection got underway. Thus, in 1992, on the basis of URCA State Agency of Copyright and Related rights at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (SACRR of Ukraine) was created.
The agency was entrusted with the functions related to the development and adoption of legislative and statutory and regulatory acts, the participation of Ukraine in the international system of copyright protection, entry and integration of the state into international organizations that deal with copyright issues, the creation of mechanisms that would promote copyright protection in Ukraine.
Number of legislative and statutory and regulatory acts was adopted during the operation of SACRR. In fact, in December 1993 the Law “On Copyright and Related Rights” was enacted by Parliament of Ukraine, which passed the examination by experts, was favorably received by European experts and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In November 1994, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Resolution № 784 “On the minimum rates of remuneration for the use of works of literature and art “. A year later, the Parliament adopted a decree № 532 “On state registration of author’s rights on the works of science, literature and art”. Thus a copyright legal framework which was broadly in line with international standards was established in Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukraine demonstrated willingness to integrate into international copyright and related rights structures. In May 1995, Ukraine joined the Berne Convention “On Protection of literature and art works.”
Since June 1996 the basic standarts of copyright became constitutional. December 15, 1999 SACRR ceased to exist. President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma by decree “On changes in the structure of central bodies of executive power” abolished the agency and its functions were partly passed to the new body which is the State Department of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. However this change did not solve the issues related to the royalties collection and distribution among the authors. Therefore, in June 2000 by the decree of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, which is the central body of state and executive authority responsible for the implementation of state policy in the field of intellectual property a State Enterprise “Ukrainian Agency of Copyright and Related Rights” (SE UACRR) was created on the basis of SACRR.

In essence, the company became a reasonable assignee of SACRR Ukraine’s in the the field of collective management of authors’ rights. During its existence SE UACRR worked a difficult way up to formation as a collective management organization and has been acknowledged both in Ukraine and abroad.

In the late 2005, SE UACRR became an ordinary member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). Currently our Agency is the only society with musical and dramatic repertoire in Ukrane which is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). In 2006, the Agency developed model contracts fully compliant with the current legislation of Ukraine and the set international practice in the field of copyright, formed the unique databases with information about the Ukrainian authors and their works.

Also in 2006, the ISWC agreement was signed with CISAC on the management procedure of assigning a number to each piece of music created by the author, registered with SE UACRR. This enabled the Agency to assign international codes to works of Ukrainian authors and place them in a IPI database (Interested Party Information System), which is used by all copyright organizations of CISAC and is used when calculating and distributing collected royalties, as well as to represent authors’ interests outside of Ukraine more effectively.

The licensing agreements with all the leading Ukrainian radio stations were concluded. During the years 2005-2008 new software that meets international standards was gradually developed and implemented to ensure the efficient operation of the Agency concerning collection, distribution and payment of royalties.

2008 – 2011 years were filled with active communication with foreign partners mostly aiming at increasing cooperation and international expertise in developing and improving the level of copyright legal protection in Ukraine.

Within the context of collaboration with members of CISAC UACRR concluded contracts with collective management organizations in such countries as United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Spain etc.

From 2015 the new UACRR board realizes the newest strategies in collective management. As of today SO UACRR has embodied the many years’ experience of the previous decades and now it is one of the most powerful collective management organization which represents interests of more than 6 thousand Ukrainian authors and more than 4 million foreign authors in the territory of Ukraine.