In Georgia of the 1990s, after the Soviet Union had collapsed, the level of copyright protection was very low. The proper legislation, or a body responsible for copyright protection, did not exist.
In the year 1995, the Parliament of Georgia ratified the international conventions on copyright protection and took the obligation for copyright protection throughout the whole territory of Georgia.
Before the 1999, copyright issues had been regulated by the “Civil Code of Georgia”. In the year 1999, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the “Georgian Law on Copyright and Related Rights”, this way providing the basis for protection of authors’ and performers’ rights in the country. The same year, according to the above mentioned law, authors and performers established the collective management organization - “Georgian Authors and Performers Association” (GESAP). The objective of the organization was implementation and protection of authors’ and performers’ rights.
In 2006, on the basis of amendments made to the legislation, GESAP renewed its registration as “Georgian Authors Society” (SAS).
Since then, the establishment of cooperation, as well as, conclusion of reciprocal representation agreements with similar type foreign sister societies has started.
Artists operating in Georgia joined the Society: Writers, composers, poets, painters, film-directors etc. At the same time, the issuance of licenses to users on the usage of copyrighted works was an ongoing process, albeit, the number of licensing cases was very insignificant. The ineffective management of the society led to a reduction of competency of the organization. In 2005, protection of related rights was removed from the mandate of SAS, and only copyright protection was handled by the organization.
In 2011, the government of Georgia announced protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) as one of the priorities. The necessity of effective mechanisms of IPR protection led the General Assembly to elect the new management.
On July 9th, 2011, by the decision of the General Assembly, the organization once again took the responsibility for protection of the related rights. Also, the name of the organization was changed to “Georgian Copyright Association” (GCA). Since then the active process of its reform has started.
For the effective protection of authors’ and performers’ rights, the Association established close cooperation with state-administrative bodies and international donor organizations.
The agreements with member authors have been renewed and the process of joining new members has actively started. Since then, the number of GCA members has been increasing on a daily basis.
New tariffs on usage of copyright have been elaborated and approved. Accordingly, the number of users and granted licenses has significantly increased.
Modern, transparent mechanisms have been established to collect/distribute fees/royalties.
Relations between GCA and the partner societies have been revised and the new reciprocal representation agreements have been signed.
The number of collected license fees and distributed royalties has been increased.
Our Association has been the only collective management organization in Georgia.