Record Copyright Revenues Collected in Bulgaria
Record-breaking revenues from royalty payments of BGN 7.57 million were collected in 2018 by Musicautor. This is an increase of more than 100% compared to the previous year, according to the report published on the website of the Bulgarian organization of composers, text authors and music publishers. The most significant increase in copyright payment was achieved at concerts and digital platforms.
In 2018, over BGN 500,000 was collected from concerts, which is a growth of 85.3% over the previous year. This is due to the changes in the Copyright and Related Rights Act of March 2018, according to which the owners of concert halls are jointly responsible with the organizers for the arrangement of copyright for the music. In practice, in order to rent a hall, the organizer must have previously signed a license agreement for the concert music. This development is of particular benefit to the authors from Bulgaria, as many concerts in Bulgaria perform their music.
In the digital rights sector, revenue growth in 2018 is over 101%, reaching $ 205,240. This is the highest level so far. Digital platforms have posed a number of challenges to copyright companies around the world in recording musical works, wage formation and distribution, according to Musicautor. The organization adds that it is taking targeted action to ensure the steady trend of revenue growth in the sector. Among them is the serious investment in distribution software, which is due to be completed within a few months. It will be able to handle the vast array of information including rightholders, works and reports from users, including digital platforms. The software is the only public company in the IT sector.
Musicautor expects serious movement in the tourist and commercial sector. It is again due to last year's legal amendments, which since January 2019 delegate new powers to municipalities to check for licensing contracts for public music performance. So far, such inspections have been carried out only by the Ministry of Culture, which has led to scarce control over compliance with the law and the predominant gray sector among tourist and commercial sites.
The organization of authors in music has worked hard to turn the public focus on private copying. In Bulgaria there are no receipts from empty media, such as discs, hard disks, flash drives, etc., although they are due according to the law. The lack of such a regulation would make every user an offender, so such rules are spread throughout Europe. The passivity of the Bulgarian state on this issue motivates Musicautor to file a complaint with the European Commission for the non-compliance of the Bulgarian legislation with the European Union law, in violation of its obligations of a Member State.
In 2018, the Cultural Foundation of the organization has allocated more than 150,000 leva for 38 projects, of which 41,500 leva have been supported by targeted young authors.
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