Statement by the Institute ahead of the AMUS Assembly
Mostar, October 18, 2019 - Ahead of the AMUS Assembly, scheduled for 23/10/2019, Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH reminds members of AMUS and the public of several important facts:
The Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina, after conducting supervision of the work of AMUS for 2017, adopted two decisions ordering AMUS to eliminate irregularities in its operation.
Considering that AMUS did not act on the Institute's orders within set deadlines, thereby committing a grave violation of the provisions of the Law on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights, the Institute issued, on 27/08/2019, a Decision on conditional revocation of license from the Association of Composers - Music Makers (AMUS) for a period of 12 months, which means that AMUS should continue its legally prescribed activity, first of all, ensure distribution of collected funds to the authors, and if it does not eliminate irregularities within the stipulated period, the Institute will make final decision to revoke the license.
In the daily newspaper “AVAZ”, on 10/10/2019, an interview with Lejla Trnčić, director of the Expert Service of the Association of Composers - Music Makers, was published, in which Mrs. Trnčić states that the Institute is illegally involved in the affairs of AMUS. This statement by Mrs. Trnčić is arbitrary and unsubstantiated, because Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a government body, which is competent for issuing licenses for performing the activities of collective management of copyright and related rights, as well as for supervising the work of collective organizations.
The purpose of the supervision of the operation of collective organizations is to determine whether the organization is performing its activities in accordance with the license issued, the Law on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights, and its general acts. Supervision is also necessary because of the legal monopoly enjoyed by the collective organization in legal transactions.
The Institute also deems unfounded allegations of Mrs. Trnčić pertaining to conditional payment of royalties to authors. AMUS should submit to its members all information and documents on the basis of which the discussion will be conducted. Authors at the Assembly should consider the reports in question, discuss any controversial issues, and propose binding conclusions and activities with individual reports.
AMUS has a legal obligation to distribute collected funds to authors, without conditionality, which is the primary reason for the establishment of collective organization. In the aforementioned interview, the Director of the Expert Service of AMUS also stated that a "Working Body" for membership revision was formed, which proposed the expulsion from membership of several hundred members, who "in the eyes of the Working Body" did not meet the membership criteria. The Institute estimates that membership review should be conducted according to predefined criteria, respecting the provisions of the Statute and relevant laws.
The agenda of the AMUS Assembly, scheduled for October 23, also includes a proposal for a new AMUS Statute. The Institute, in its earlier communication, informed AMUS that certain provisions of the proposed Statute were not in accordance with the law.
The AMUS Statute is the only act that defines issues related to quorum and manner of decision-making at the Assembly. The issues related to the determination of the quorum for valid decision-making at the AMUS Assembly were resolved by BiH Ministry of Justice in its explication, which was submitted to AMUS for their information and action, and published on the Institute's website.
The Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH believes that AMUS will overcome current problems and continue its operations in accordance with the law, and once again we invite AMUS members to actively participate in the work of the Assembly scheduled for 23/10/2019.
The Institute thanks AMUS for the invitation to attend the Assembly, for which it wishes to work successfully. Representatives of the Institute will not be present at this Assembly because all the views of the Institute are well known and official letters have been submitted to AMUS, and the members and public can find all relevant information related to the whole issue on the Institute's website.