Copyright Management in Armenia

Workshop Looks at Collective Copyright Management in Armenia

On Wednesday, May 11, government policy experts, intellectual property attorneys, and private-sector specialists gathered for a forum hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Armenia to discuss collective copyright management in Armenia. The day-long session was organized to examine the role Collective Copyright Management Organizations (CMOs) play in the protection of intellectual property rights.

CMOs are organizations that act on behalf of authors or performers. CMOs issue copyright licenses that give permission for others to use their members’ works. They handle the business side of copyrights, negotiating royalty rates and other terms of use on behalf of their members. They also manage royalty payment collection and distribution.

“Protection of intellectual property rights can play a key role in fostering economic development,” said Clark Price, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in his opening remarks. “The U.S. supports Armenia’s commitment to improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. These protections are critical to nurturing innovation and attracting foreign direct investment.”

The session was organized by the Embassy and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program. It was planned with the help of two local partners: the Intellectual Property Rights Center and Armauthor, the authors’ rights collective management organization created by the Armenian Ministry of Justice.

The one-day workshop featured presentations by experts from two European CMOs, Hungary’s Artisjus and France’s SACEM. Among other subjects, the participants examined the role and functions of CMOs and their importance to protecting a country’s cultural heritage, the purpose of licensing agreements, the rationale behind tariff-setting, and the international context of Armauthor’s work.

One aim of the workshop is helping boost Armauthor’s abilities to serve copyright holders by educating the public about the importance of protecting copyrights and the role that CMOs play in this process.

“The goal of this workshop is to provide the public and private sectors in Armenia with a greater understanding of the importance of copyright protection and the integral role played by collective management organizations in protecting the rights of creators and end-users of copyright-protected materials,” DCM Price said. “Protection of intellectual property rights is crucially important for attracting foreign direct investment, fostering innovation, and protecting the cultural heritage of a country.”