United States of America
Copyright and Related Rights
1. Please explain whether and how Finnish law provides protection for works, phonograms and performances from other WTO Members, and whether and how it does so on the basis of national treatment, as required by TRIPS Article 3 (generally, with respect to all copyrights and neighbouring rights) and Article 9.1 (incorporating Berne Article 5(1)). In particular, please explain how national treatment is afforded with respect to the distribution of levies for private copying under Chapter 2a of the Finnish Copyright Act.
(a)Protection for protected subject matter from other WTO Members. As the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and annexed Agreements included provisions which belong to the field of legislation, the Parliament of Finland has enacted a law on accepting such provisions in the Agreement and annexed Agreements. This acceptance included the TRIPS Agreement. The law pronounces that the provisions are in force for Finland. According to the constitutional norms the respective substantive laws have to be brought into accordance prior to the entering into force of such a law. A similar law was enacted by the Parliament when the Berne Convention (1971) was brought into force for Finland in 1986. (b)National Treatment An unequivocal national treatment is accorded to all WTO Members as far as copyright and neighbouring rights provided for in the TRIPS Agreement are concerned. (c)Distribution of levies under Chapter 2a of the Finnish Copyright Act There is no right to compensation for private copying in the Finnish Copyright Act. No one can make a claim to receive remuneration, as no rights are involved. The Act provides for an obligation to the manufacturers and importers of blank recording material to pay a levy. The obligation to pay the levy was adopted in accordance with the clause in the Constitution of Finland concerning the imposing payment obligations to the citizen. The proceeds of the levy are used to compensate private copying according to a decision made yearly by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The compensations are paid out to the beneficiaries by organizations representing a large number of them. Nothing precludes distribution to foreign beneficiaries. There is, however, no obligation to do so.