Compensation for damages due to copyright infringement - on software, photos, scientific works, etc.

Copyright is the right of a natural person who created a work in the field of literature, science and art. Copyright arises and belongs to the author based on the very creation of the author's work and is not conditioned by the fulfillment of any formalities or requirements regarding its content, quality or purpose. Copyright consists of: a) personal or moral authorizations, b) material authorizations and c) other authorizations of the author prescribed by law. Author's moral rights include the right to publish the work, the right to acknowledge authorship and the right to respect the work. Author's material rights include in particular: the right to reproduce, distribute, lease, communicate to the public, process, to make an audio-visual adaptation and the right to translate.

The author has the right to compensation (author's fee) based on the exploitation of the author's work by other persons. In case of infringement of the author's work, he enjoys copyright protection in accordance with legal regulations. In addition to the above, judicial protection is also available to the author for violating the author's moral rights or causing damage by violating the right to exploit the work, i.e. legal or contractual copyright. Therefore, in case of violation of the author's material right by an unauthorized user, the author can claim the protection of that right and compensation for the damage caused, which also applies to the case of violation of the author's moral right. 

Such compensation shall be sought by the author through a judicial proceeding and shall be deemed to be a right to compensation for material damage caused by unauthorised use of the copyrighted work or by infringement of the moral rights of the author, as well as a right to compensation for non-material damage. Thus, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina No: Gž-50/88 determined the author's right to fair monetary compensation for the violation of the author's moral rights, on the grounds that parts of the book were published in the newspaper without mentioning the work and the author, as well as due to the fact that the text of the book was shortened and altered without the author's consent. The High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, in its judgment No: Pž 3785/2007, took the view that infringement of a moral copyright constitutes a special ground for awarding non-material damages, and that compensation for such damages may be sought irrespective of whether the author has suffered psychological pain as a result of the infringement of copyright.

Any form of damage is compensated according to the general rules on damage compensation, according to Article 157 of the Law on copyright and related rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the amount of damage itself is determined by an court certified expert. Considering that the author's property rights are inherited, the heirs of the author, as holders of the author's property rights, can also demand compensation for material damages. However, the right to compensation for non-material damages due to the violation of the author's moral rights ends with the death of the author, therefore the heirs of the deceased exercise the right to such type of satisfaction only if it is recognized by a legally binding court decision or contracted in writing.