Bulgaria adopts EU Directives, strengthening the rights of audiovisual creators

CISAC at Bulgaria Parliament_©Galin Getov

The Bulgarian Parliament has formally adopted EU SatCab II and Digital Single Market directives, strengthening the rights of audiovisual creators in Bulgaria and ensuring they are fairly remunerated for the use of their works.

The adoption of the laws on 23rd November  is an important milestone for the Bulgarian creative sector and comes after sustained lobbying by CISAC, spearheaded by its European Committee and AV technical committee, the CTDLV, and local member societies FILMAUTOR and MUSICAUTOR in collaboration with sister organisations GESAC and SAA.

Bulgaria's copyright landscape has long struggled to effectively implement its EU copyright obligations. This has , in particular, allowed retransmission companies to consistently refuse to pay creators for the use of both local and foreign audiovisual works. Bulgaria has been the only EU Member State where films and other audiovisual works are retransmitted without payment from the retransmission operators towards the local audiovisual CMO.

CISAC and sister organisations have lobbied for the unwaivable right to remuneration and an effective cable retransmission regime, seeking to establish the recognition and protection of audiovisual creators' rights in Bulgaria. On 10th November , a delegation on the sidelines of CISAC’s Dramatic, Literary, and Audiovisual Works Technical Committee (CTDLV) met to discuss both directives with a delegation of the Bulgarian Parliament.  

With the focus now shifting to implementation of the laws, the CTDLV and the Bulgarian societies are urging some further fixes to address Bulgaria’s continued non-compliance with EU law and best practices. Notably, the need for an functioning and meaningful private copying scheme, and for efficient tariff-setting mechanisms.

The outstanding issues will be addressed by the Bulgarian Parliament in the very near future, with a new revision of the law.