House of Representatives Approves Copyright Bill

The House of Representatives unanimously approved, Monday in plenary session, the bill n° 25.19 relating to the Moroccan Bureau of Authors’ Rights (BMDA) and neighboring rights. Presenting the bill, on behalf of Mohamed Mehdi Bensa├»d, Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Abdellatif Ouahbi Minister of Justice, stressed that the project is part of the implementation of the strategy of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication towards better protection of copyright.

The establishment of a new legal and regulatory framework governing the field of intellectual property capable of guaranteeing and protecting copyright, and supporting the authorities’ efforts to fight against piracy and counterfeiting, and to reduce their negative impact on the national economy. In this way, confidence will be consolidated in effective justice, which guarantees the rule of law, the basis of judicial security and good governance. Abdellatif Ouahbi indicated that this text should provide legal mechanisms to ensure greater proximity with litigants, improve judicial efficiency and meet the expectations of actors in the cultural sector.

The project was presented on behalf of the government by Abdellatif Ouahbi. In this context, the Minister of Justice declared that this project arrives at the hemicycle after months and weeks of discussions for its approval by the Executive which had, in fine, the courage and the political will of the pass, just one week after ratifying the BMDA law. ” The rights, for the benefit of artists, are laws that have been lying around for three years in the drawers“.

Ouahbi said that “the government approved two laws on authors’ rights in the space of six months. This is the greatest proof of our interest and belief in the development of culture to move from supporting culture to an industry domain. This will open a host of doors for authors. Our overall vision is to reform the sector in addition to improving the situation, social development, infrastructure development, job creation and improving the quality of training“.

The Minister of Justice said that the current government could have for small political calculations withdrawn the bill and reformulated it. Except that today, he is in a position of responsibility, looking for the general interest, and the interest of artists, creators, and the culture sector in general.

In such a context, the priority of an upgrade of the BMDA was necessary to guarantee the protection of copyright and neighboring rights with transparent and clear rules and principles.“Therefore, I rejected the idea of ​​withdrawing it and rewording it because of the waste of time it would have caused, which would have meant more injustice against artists in various fields”, explained the Minister. For their part, MEPs indicated that this legislative text constitutes, in principle, an added value in the cultural field, but they expressed their regret that the project did not benefit at the limit of a degree of prior participation intellectuals, creators, artists and authors from all walks of life and the organizations to which they belong.

For the Executive, this law has been examined, with the aim of arriving at a unanimous text which serves the interests of professionals and the interests of the country in the first and last place. Promoting, defending and ensuring fair compensation for intellectual property, in the sense of the rights recognized in this area at the universal level, has made it imperative to upgrade the institutional tools in charge of these tasks and missions, in particular the institution of the BMDA. The objectives identified and integrated into the department’s strategy aim in particular to develop collection mechanisms, to fight against piracy and to align with the main universal provisions in terms of copyright and related rights.

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