On 5 October 2015, the President of Poland signed the so-called “significant” amendment to the Act on Copyright and Related Rights. Let’s take a look at some of the changes to the Act, which in my opinion are noteworthy:

Incidental use of another work

The amendment introduces the term of incidental use of another work – i.e. admissibility of inadvertent inclusion of a work into another work.

Such use, arising from inadvertent inclusion, will be only permitted in the following cases:

  1. In the event of “inadvertent inclusion of a work “; and
  2. If such work included in another work is of no importance for the latter.

This regulation is very favourable for the film market. Quite often claims are asserted by creators of works which may be found in the background frames of the film, and in accordance with the amendment, their claims will be unjustified!

Remuneration for ‘library’ rentals for authors and translators

The introduction of remuneration for library rentals for authors and translators in Poland was forced by EU regulations. This obligation was imposed on Member States by the Rental and Lending Rights Directive of 12 December 2006.

In accordance with the amendment, remuneration will be due only to authors creating their works in Polish and Polish translators of foreign language works. This fits in with the European trend for promoting and remunerating national and domestic literature.

Fair use of orphan works

The act introduces the term of orphan works, i.e. works whose author or another beneficiary of rights thereto cannot be established or found. The new provision allows for the use of such works which has been impossible so far due to inability to obtain permission from beneficiaries.


I welcome the new provisions offering protection to copyright owners while allowing for the development of the copyright market in Poland. However, it is important that the scope of permitted use of a work in another work should be precisely defined, allowing for establishment of mutual rights between authors. At the same time, the fair use of orphan works expands their availability.


Marcin Szołajski

Legal counsel, CEO

Marcin specialises in advising on acquisition and implementation of public contracts: analysis of tender documentation, assistance in the preparation of bids, participating in negotiating o the contract with the Contracting Authority, and participating in the contract implementation process. He guides clients through the appeal procedure before the National Board of Appeal and Regional Courts. Read more

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