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How to Protect Photographers' Copyright?

How to Protect Photographers' Copyright?

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We are witnessing that there is a constant "hunger" for information in modern society and that the media are competing to be the first to publish exclusive news. The average reader is overwhelmed by a massive amount of information, and the media almost always publish articles and appealing photos to attract the reader's attention.

Domestic media very often post such photos without the authors' knowledge and, therefore, without their consent and payment of appropriate compensation. In this way, the photographer's copyright is breached.

According to Art. 4 of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights ("Official Gazette of Montenegro" 53/2016 and 145/2021), a photo represents a copyrighted work. According to Art. 13 of the same law, the author has copyright, which includes moral rights, property rights and other rights of the author. Moral rights include, among others, the exclusive right of the author to be recognized as the author of their work in such a way that their name is indicated on the work and in connection with the work, as well as the right to respect the work, which implies that the author has the exclusive right to oppose any distortion, alteration or other breaches in connection with their work if such actions endanger or may endanger their honour or reputation.

On the other hand, property copyright protects the author's economic interests. The author is entitled to royalties for any use of their work by another person or to fair compensation. The author also has the exclusive right to permit or prohibit the reproduction of their work on a material medium, the exclusive right to display their photographic work to the public with the help of technical devices, the exclusive right to publicly communicate their work, the exclusive right to make the work available to the public, the exclusive right to the processing of works and the like.

If their copyright - moral or material - has been violated, the author can seek the protection of their rights and compensation for damages before the court. The Commercial Court of Montenegro is competent to decide on copyright infringement lawsuits. The claim is usually aimed at establishing a violation of rights, prohibiting further violations and future violations, publishing a verdict for violation of rights and compensation for both material damages (in the usual amount of royalty or fair settlement) and non-material damages for emotional distress caused by the breach of moral rights of the author.

By Marija Zivkovic, Senior Associate, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic

JPM Partners at a Glance

We are a full service commercial law firm in Serbia, with over 30 years of successful practice in SEE region and true and lasting partnerships with our clients.

Our diverse teams of lawyers are focused on practice in specific legal areas, handling some of the most high-profile multijurisdictional matters in energy, project development, mining, foreign investments, corporate and commercial. We are highly sought-after for legal advice in creative industries, environmental law and white-collar crime, as well as intellectual property, international arbitration, labor and data protection

As an exclusive member of Lex Mundi – the world’s premiere network of leading independent law firms, we interconnect and reach globally. Regionally, we advise clients in Montenegro directly, through well established partnership with ‘JPM Montenegro Partner Vukmirovic Misic law firm’ and close working relationships with selected first-rate firms in the region. Working together with our domestic and international clients on their most significant transactions and around entry to Serbian market, allows us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other cross-border transactions.

Our clients operate in increasingly competitive landscape and we are identifying new methods of using legal technology, to help them increase efficiency, save time and streamline work processes - document management, billing and accounting. By adopting LUMINANCE AI platform for legal professionals, we use machine-learning for contract analyses across our practice groups, as well as eDiscovery revolutionary software to simplify operations in all forms of litigation.

With exclusive access to EQUISPHERE – Lex Mundi Innovative service model, our clients can design their own legal team by choosing the best lawyers in the relevant jurisdictions, sharing documentation and communicating with all teams at any time, from a single point of contact.

Consistently recognized as a top-tier law firm, both by clients and leading independent legal directories Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR1000, we remain committed to delivering highest quality service to our clients and help them succeed in overcoming cross-border challenges. We remain committed to continuously share our knowledge by regularly publishing articles, giving lectures and organizing international conferences.

Firm's website: http://jpm.rs/