Croatian Directors Confront TV with Copyright Demands


    ZAGREB: The Croatian Film Directors Guild (DHFR) is launching a public debate about the difficult relationship between the filmmakers and the televisions, especially Croatian Radio and Television (HRT), regarding copyright laws and is preparing an official document to submit to the authorities in autumn.

    The directors say that the attitude of HRT is “humiliating” to them.

    “I speak on behalf of the directors who are experiencing the humiliating attitude of the television network, primarily from HRT. The copyright contracts offered to them are shameful and they are asked to renounce all further rights of exploitation of their own works,” Antonio Nuić, the president of DHFR, said at the round table organised by DHFR under the auspices of the State Intellectual Property Office at Pula IFF as quoted in a press release of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre which was represented at that round table by its director, Hrvoje Hribar.

    Some of the directors’ complaints are “non-payment of royalties, non-recognition of authorship, redrawing and trimming movies, failure to pay the agreed reprisal, unavailability of old contracts,” said director and producer Lordan Zafranović from Jadran film.

    “In Croatia there is a Law on Copyright and Related Rights, but it is not respected by HRT which is unilaterally regulating the price list.„ The key is (...) implementing a consistent policy by all the institutions involved and the harmonization of policy evaluation copyrights,” says Liliana Kuterovac, director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).

    A second part of the copyright issue is the unregulated situation of the audiovisual heritage dating before 1990.

    "There was chaos around the legacy AV national heritage during the privatization of the central socialist production companies, while public television decided to end the decades in good practice and to accept pseudokorporativni style exploitation of authors and their works,” says HAVC’s Hribar. The state should revise the privatization method of movies houses and make appropriate adjustments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights and the Law on audiovisual activities.