May 3, 2018 | Thursday

On 24 April 2018, European Union Information and Culture Centres (EUICC) in Pristina and North Mitrovica held two very special expert-led events.

In Pristina, Florent Boshnjaku, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Valon Kashtanjeva and Nimon Racaj discussed the importance of upholding new copyright laws. Meanwhile, in Mitrovica, lecturer Stefan Živković spoke to young people about healthy lifestyle choices.

Panel debate on media copyright, Pristina

In Pristina, Arber Selmani moderated a group of high profile media experts. The panel members called for a public debate on copyright and underlined its importance as a basic human right for artists and authors.

Florent Boshnjaku, an esteemed composer and Chairman of the Association for Collective Rights Management (APIK), discussed last month’s historic agreement on copyright and lamented a perceived lack of public interest in this important topic:

“Copyright is sort of a pension for the artist and I don’t even want to start talking about how much artists have lost because of the lack of copyright laws. Copyright is still considered a luxury, but in my opinion it is a basic human right… We have experienced an enormous and irreversible loss over decades due to a lack of copyright law − not only financial loss but also a moral loss for all artists.”

Events Foto 1

Valon Kashtanjeva, Director of the Office of Copyright and Related Rights at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, said it took five years of negotiations to reach to an agreement, drawing parallels with the experience of other Balkan countries and EU Member States.

He described copyright as a constitutional and legal right worthy of media support, even in the face of disagreement and threats.

“Each work of art is a public good, an intellectual property, and nobody can use it without rights and without adequate compensation. If we see copyright law only from the perspective of implementation then it is a problem. We should view it from the aspect of investment in culture and its development for the Copyright is also legal requirement of the MSA and for EU integration,” stated Kashtanjeva.

Nimon Racaj, Legal Advisor at the Independent Media Commission (IMC) said the Commission is pushing all sides of the process forward in order to implement the copyright agreement:

“Article 30 of the law says that agreements are valid only if reached with the associations of collective rights. There was a practice in Kosovo of not treating copyright as a priority but as a secondary issue. We can now proceed with requests to the media on behalf of the Commission to see how they are implementing tariffs, as the agreement is a legal instrument from now on. This was our main challenge as an institution so far.”

Racaj spoke of other aspects of copyright such as TV programming and football matches by cable operators, highlighting some complex implementation issues.

Film director and producer, Kaltrina Krasniqi emphasised how progressive the law on copyright and related rights in Kosovo is. She described how the law is based on EU legislation and takes each industry’s level of development of into account.

“Kosovo cinematography has opened doors for foreign cooperation but lacks the mechanisms to uphold copyright, thereby diminishing lucrative opportunities [for] co-production and international cooperation. We have to bear in mind that film is an expensive enterprise and it is impossible to sustain it with state subsidies. Rather, we need to maintain cooperation with other countries and their film institutions”.

Events Foto 3

Healthy living lecture, North Mitrovica

On the same day, In North Mitrovica, the EU Information and Cultural Centre, in cooperation with Youth Educational Club Synergy, organised a healthy living lecture by Stefan Živković, Representative of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations.

Mr Živković discussed bad habits and the importance of developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Besides providing the audience with insight into how addictions and bad habits affect balance in the human body, the lecturer gave young participants useful tips on how to avoid bad habits and to stop them from developing.

The event was organised within the latest EUICC education campaign.

Events Foto 2