Intellectual property rights are still a matter of concern in Moldova
The Republic of Moldova deals with serious issues in terms of protection of property rights, although the country has adopted bills on property and on mortgages. The US State Department considers that a system for recording mortgages and property titles is in place, but the mortgage market still needs development.
“The judicial sector remains weak and does not always guarantee the rights of citizens and foreign investors from alleged governmental or private sector misdeeds. A clear example of judicial malfeasance involves four cases, where Moldovan and Foreign investors were illegally dispossessed of their shares in Moldovan financial institutions, and were not protected in dubious Moldovan lower courts' decisions. Only one of the cases was appealed to the Moldovan Supreme Court, where in ruled in favor of the investors,” the US State Department report shows.
Moldova signed some international agreements on intellectual property rights, such as the International Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization. Even though Moldova signed these agreements, the country is considered among the states with the highest software piracy rate which hikes to 90%. This tendency is reasoned by the high cost of the software which cannot be afforded by the computer users. Some users can barely pay their internet connection bill.
The internet users in Moldova are massively surfing a well-known portal in the country called Torrentsmd.com which is a website containing user-generated content. The users upload software, movies, games which are generally copyrighted. The torrent tracker was previously shut down by the enforcement authorities, but in a few weeks the website was back again with the same content. No investigations or prosecutions have been made on this case.
Copyright infringements are rarely prosecuted in Moldova, although the necessary laws are in place.
The Business Software Alliance reported that seven criminal investigations for software piracy were commenced in Moldova in 2011. The International Intellectual Property Alliance says that six are still under investigation, but only one was sent forward to trial, where it is pending in the court.
A motion picture association created in Moldova this year currently confronts the problem of pirated films by the TV stations. Some channels have been caught broadcasting unlicensed movies.