Weird Slovak Copyright Exception Proposal

Ministry of Health proposed new copyright exception within it´s eHealth reform, which my friend Mico pointed out to me. Even though it bears just a few words, it opens up numerous copyright problems. According to proposed law each publisher of work in the field of medical and health sciences have a duty to provide National Center of Health Information (NCHI) with it´s obligatory copy. New amendment to Slovak Copyright Act then grants NCHI remuneration free statutory licence to publish this copyright material on it´s National Health website under specific conditions. The proposal reads [in redish]:

Section 33 [

The Use of Work for Information Purposes]

(1) The authorization of an author shall not be required


e) to making available to public of work by National Center of Health Information [


] by means of National Health Portal in a manner, which apart from reading of the work does not enable copying of the work or it´s part, or any other manipulation of the work.

(2) The provision of third sentence of Section 25 shall apply mutatis mutandis on the use pursuant

to Subsection (1).

(3) There shall be no obligation to pay remuneration to the author for use of the work pursuant to

Subsection (1).

Footnote 5a) refers to obligatory copies under “Obligatory Copies Act” No. 212/1997.

My remarks :
– Reading is not copying;
– Reading is not even use of the work;
– Reading is authorization free! or at least use to be? :/
Manipulation of the work – what the hack is that? Do they mean use of the work?
– What about visually impaired people, if just reading is permitted?
– I can still rewrite the text, make a screenshot and other manipulation; So does that mean they haven´t met requirements of the exception?
– Who is going to have an access to this online obligatory copies? Everybody? Amendment says nothing about this. I reckon non-statutory act will specify this [compare to Digital Economy Bill]. If so is it really in accordance to Three Step test? Clearly not.
– Does the Information Society Directive allow such exception? [see Article 5(3)] Clearly not.
– Proposal´s clause of compatibility with Community law says that no European provision is concern, which strikingly isn´t true.

Comment procedure
Thank´s to wise objections within the intra-department comment procedure, which ended on Friday (5th of March). Health insurance company Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa, a.s. objected that technical requirement of this making available to public is unfeasible. Ministry of Culture claimed breach of community and international law and therefore swept the proposed provision entirely. Hat off to you Ministry of Culture of SR, good job.

2 thoughts on “Weird Slovak Copyright Exception Proposal

  1. Unknown

    I'd call this amendment proposal a "miserable failure". But the overall quality of the proposal simply meets the usual standard from the production of Ministry of Health.

    After the March 5 we may consider this proposal as good as dead 🙂

  2. Huťko

    I can´t agree more 😉

Leave A Comment