Legal notes to copyright registration in Serbia

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Copyright registration in Serbia. Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Central and Southeast Europe. Serbia is an upper-middle-income economy, ranked 64th and “very high” in the Human Development Index domain. It is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, a member of the UN, CoE, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA, AIIB, and is acceding to the WTO. Since 2014, the country has been negotiating its EU accession, with the aim of joining the European Union by 2025. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in Serbia.

Copyright in Serbia

Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created.

The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, the creator should still apply for copyright registration in Serbia early because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.

When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has made a copyright registration in Serbia will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.

Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration in Serbia immediately to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in Serbia

Serbia is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1930, as Yugoslavia.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

As Serbia is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Serbia will be given copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries.

In most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form. However, the copyright registration in Serbia is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when the works are automatically protected according to copyright law.

When registering, the work will get an application submission date, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.

Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.

If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a big amount of money as well as time needed to resolve issues related to copyright, proving ownership of the original work.

If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.

Documents for copyright registration in Serbia

To obtain copyright registration in Serbia, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:

  • Declaration of copyright registration in Serbia;
  • Two copies of copyrighted work;
  • Documents proving the right to apply;
  • Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
  • Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
  • Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
  • Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
  • Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).

The copyright law of Serbia

The Serbian copyright act (Serbian: Закон о ауторском и сродним правима) was published as the copyright act of Serbia and Montenegro on 24 December 2004, and it remains in force after the country’s split under the “Declaration of Continuation by Republic of Serbia”, September 19, 2006.

Serbia has been a member of the Berne Convention since 17 June 1930 as inherited from the former Yugoslavia, to which the declaration of continuation made on 19 September 2006, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 13 June 2003.

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (Official Gazette Republic of Serbia No. 104/2009, 99/2011, 119/2012 and 29/2016) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Serbia. WIPO holds the text of this law in the WIPO Lex database. The government of Serbia holds Serbian and English texts of the 2009 law on this country’s official website.

You can see a list of Serbia IP firms here.

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