In the Czech Republic the amendment of the Copyright Act has been in force since 22 April 1996. As the Czech representative said at the beginning of this review, the notification will be made as soon as an official translation of this Act is finished.
The new Article 53a is as follows:
(1) Authors, performing artists and phonogram producers, or persons authorized to exercise their rights pursuant to this Act, may require from customs authorities information about the contents and volume of import of goods, which are of the nature of reproductions of works or their sound, visual or audiovisual recordings, or goods, which is to serve for production of such recordings as their carrier (blank carriers), and to examine customs documents for the purpose of establishment, if import of such goods for dissemination in the market is in compliance with this Act.
(2) The customs authority shall at a written request of persons authorized pursuant to paragraph 1 suspend the procedure of release of goods for free circulation for ten working days, if there is a justified suspicion that with import of such goods the rights pursuant to this Act would be violated. In justified cases the period of suspension of the procedure may be extended by further ten working days.
(3) Should the importer of goods mentioned under paragraph 1 not prove within the term pursuant to paragraph 2 that his import is in compliance with provisions of this Act, the customs authority shall not release the goods in free circulation.
(4) Provisions of paragraph 1 through 3 shall apply analogously also for export of goods mentioned in paragraph 1.
The Czech legislation contains also civil and criminal remedies.
According to the special protection of copyrights and rights of performing artists, as stipulated in the Copyright Act No. 35/1965 in conjunction with Section 39, paragraph 1 of this Act, the author whose right was infringed may demand, on the basis of Civil Law, that the infringement of his/her right is prohibited, the consequences of such infringement or abuse are removed (corrected) and the author receives the appropriate compensation. If, as a result of such an infringement, a substantial injury in kind has been caused, the author shall be entitled to receive a monetary compensation provided another form of compensation has turned out to be inadequate. The amount of such monetary compensation shall be determined by the court. As for civil and judicial procedures, the court may ban the distribution of tangible publications which were wrongfully used and order the illegal user to destroy the respective publications at his/her expense.
Criminal procedure enables in the case of infringements of copyright to involve imprisonment up to two years, monetary fine, or seizure of the thing. If the culprit has, through the infringement, received a substantial benefit or the scope of his/her act is substantial, the punishment is from 6 months to 5 years imprisonment, monetary fine or forfeiture of the thing.