Ukraine adopts law improving hologram system to combat copyright piracy

Ukraine

On 4 October 2018, a new law strengthening the fight against piracy and copyright violations in Ukraine entered into force. 

The law was passed following the issuance of Special 301 Report on Copyright Protection and Enforcement for 2012 by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which recommended “abolishing the hologram stickering system (or, at the very least, fixing it so that it cannot be used by infringers to make pirate product appear legitimate)”.

To this end, the law introduces changes to the procedure for adding hologram stickers (also known as control marks) to audio-visual works, audio-video recordings, computer programmes and databases, and includes:

  • requiring rights holders to file applications for obtaining control marks in both paper and electronic forms;
  • within three business days following issuance of the control marks, the publishing of information about the applicants, their intellectual property rights, and the issued control marks (quantity, date of issuance, their series and numbers) on the official website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

The new mechanism introduced by the law gives rights holders a supplementary tool to efficiently prevent the unlawful use of control marks, and represents a major step towards improving Ukraine’s position in the Special 301 Report.

The Special 301 Report is prepared annually by the IIPA and contains a list of countries with inadequate intellectual property protection laws that represent trade barriers with US companies and products.

The report's author, the IIPA, is a private sector coalition of trade associations representing US copyright-based industries. Its mandate is to improve international protection and enforcement of copyrighted materials, and to open up foreign markets closed by piracy and other barriers.

Legislation: the Law of Ukraine On Amendments to Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine On the Distribution of Copies of Audiovisual, Phonograms, Videograms, Computer Programs, Databases No. 2514-VIII of 4 September 2018