AMUS - reaction of the Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH to the text published in Avaz on 14/11/2018
In relation with the press release by AMUS, published on 14/11/2018 in “Avaz” daily newspaper under the title “Institute starts war”, the Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH herewith informs authors, members of AMUS and general public of the following:
Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejects arbitrary and constructed labelling released into public by some of the managerial structures of AMUS. It is Institute’s competence to supervise the operation of organizations for collective management of copyright and related rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Supervision is carried out with the aim to establish whether the organization conducts entrusted activities in accordance with the issued license, provisions of the Law on Collective Management of Copyright and Related rights, and other relevant regulations and its own rules.
All the problems that have occurred in AMUS during this year are a product of disagreements between significant number of members and management bodies of AMUS. Numerous authors have turned to Institute complaining about transparency of AMUS operations. The management of AMUS failed, on two different occasions in 2018, to hold functioning assembly of this association. These days, the Institute has carried out regular supervision of AMUS operations. Writers of AMUS press release stress that “…there isn’t absolutely any problem with this kind of Institute’s supervision…” and the truth is that in the process of supervision of AMUS operations requested documentation on different types of contracts has not been delivered to authorized officials of the Institute and access to requested documentation has also been denied.
Also, management of AMUS does not want to distribute to their members list of authors with highest royalties in the last year (without mentioning the amounts), because those authors constitute a quorum necessary for valid decisions in the Assembly of AMUS. The aforementioned list AMUS has also not delivered upon request by the Institute or in the process of immediate supervision, which is definitely not within framework of association’s transparent functioning.
Considering the above stated, in the process of supervision Institute pays special attention to transparency of affairs, particularly in operating expenses of a collective organization, and all for the reason that collective organizations have non-profit character – conducting business on their own behalf and for the account of members-authors, respectively disposing of money which belongs to authors-right holders.
It remains unclear why Professional Service of AMUS opines that “…it is a very worrying stance that the Institute will from now on insist on transparent reporting…” as there has been no problem in the supervision of other organizations for collective management of copyright and related rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all supervising activities have been conducted in a transparent and legally defined manner.
The Institute believes that AMUS will overcome the problems it is currently facing and consistently fulfill its fundamental legal obligation, namely the distribution of collected funds to its members-authors by methodology and in the way they themselves adopt at the Assembly of the Association, and that managerial bodies of AMUS will perform their financial operations and complete work within the relevant laws. AMUS members must not suffer due to problems in the work of their managerial structures.
Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH shall, within its legal authority, continue with activities that lead to the improvement of the system of collective management of copyright and related rights, and will, if necessary, involve other institutions in order to protect copyright holders.