On Thursday, January 21, an informative report was issued in the State Secretaries' meeting. The report “Prevention and Combating Piracy in the Digital Environment” has been prepared by the Ministry of the Interior. The report aims assessing the existing legal framework and preparing proposals for a more effective prevention of copyright infringements.
Over the last decade, public demand for the availability of various types of content in the digital environment has increased, and rapid technological progress has led to the development of these types of services. Also, over the last five years, mobile technologies have played an important role in the circulation of digital content, and the availability of the Internet and mobile devices has improved. Simultaneously with the rapid development of the internet, in Latvia the use of copyrighted content (music, films, television and sports programs, computer programs) and demand for such content, including pirated content, has also increased. Thus, it can be concluded that the rapid development of technology also poses risks of increasing the level of piracy.
Consequently, the informative report presents information on the current situation of the level of piracy in Latvia and measures to reduce it. The informative report also reviews the current legal framework for preventing and combating piracy in Latvia, and, taking into account the current situation, the report identifies problems and proposes possible solutions.
The report concludes that a number of measures have been taken in Latvia over the last decade to address issues related to copyright protection in the digital environment. The report also contains information on international and European Union sources of copyright law, as well as anti-piracy measures in foreign practice.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, piratical content is mainly distributed on websites which are legally and physically located outside the territory of Latvia. Consequently, the prevention of copyright infringements in these websites has limited possibilities for Latvian law enforcement authorities to apply legal tools, which are provided for in Latvian regulatory enactments. In such cases, copyright and related rights owners should be actively involved in preventing piracy by exercising their rights under other national law.
Effective reduction and combating of piracy also requires not only public education, restriction of access to websites with piratical content, and enforcement of the circulation of piratical content, but also action to promote the legal availability of copyrighted works.
Taking into account the conclusions and proposals contained in the report, and in accordance with the protocol decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, it is stipulated the Ministry of Culture would prepare amendments to the Copyright Law, as well as in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice would assess the possibility of changing administrative liability for copyright infringements in digital environment. in civil law.
It is also stipulated that the Ministry of Culture, in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice, would evaluate the practice of damage calculation in the field of copyright and related rights infringements and develop guidelines to determine the criteria for determining damage in copyright and related rights infringements.
The report was developed by the Ministry of the the Interior, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Transport, in fulfilling the measures provided for in the “Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Provision Guidelines 2015-2020”.
Public Relations Specialist
The Ministry of the Interior