On 19 December 2017 the Executive Branch issued the Decree no. 436-17 by which the National Copyright Office (ONDA) is ascribed to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and SMB (MIC).

In particular, the new decree modifies the article 104 of Decree no. 362-01 "Reglamento de aplicación de la Ley 65-00 sobre Derecho de Autor" (regulation for the applicability of the Copyright Law 65-00), which stated that "The Copyright Unity is entrusted to the National Copyright Office, ascribed to Secretary of Culture, with all the obligations and responsibilities stated in the Law and the present regulation", changing "ascribed to the Secretary of Culture" for "ascribed to the Ministry of Commerce and SMB".

This change, further to the structural and organizational implications, may have relevant practical effects in relation to a more effective protection of copyright and related rights. Since the beginning of his administration, the Director of ONDA, Trajano Santana, along with his team, has been taking the necessary steps to dissociate ONDA from the Ministry of Culture and therefore obtain certain budget and financial liberty to provide better service to right owners.

In any case, it remains to be seen what control mechanism will hold MIC towards the ONDA's patrimony and what kind of financial freedom will ONDA have, since this will determine the efficiency on the regulatory change.

We will be following this process closely from MINIÑO as well as supporting the institutions in this change and will keep our clients informed on any development.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.