YPC Weekly Newsletter

2001


"IRTEK" DEMANDS PROTECTION OF ITS COPYRIGHT

On June 15 at the Journalists Union of Armenia the authors of "IRTEK" computer system held a press conference. "IRTEK" is a comprehensive legal data base that includes all the laws and codes of Armenia, decrees and decisions of the RA President, Government and Prime Minister, other legal and normative acts adopted by the legislative and executive branches. The creators of "IRTEK" Robert Avagian and Gevorg Malkhasian introduced journalists to the essence of their conflict with "Joint Financial Group" and "Master Consulting Group" companies. The dispute is associated with the protection of the copyright and is currently being considered by the Court of Primary Jurisdiction of Erebuni and Nubarashen Communities of Yerevan.

According to Mr. Avagian and Mr. Malkhasian, for seven years, from 1993 till 2000, they had developed a system containing 11,000 data units. In as far as 1997 "IRTEK" was registered by the National Copyright Agency (certificate #120). Yet, in 2000 "Joint Financial Group" company appeared with its A-Laws data base, also containing at the moment 11,000 legal acts.

Mr. Avagian and Mr. Malkhasian maintain that over 10,000 data units of the database above are taken from "IRTEK" in their original form: the same selection and design of documents and tables, the same systemizing principles, even the misprints and mistakes of "IRTEK" are retained. All this was revealed also by the independent experts appointed by the Court.

The authors of "IRTEK" qualify the activities of "Joint Financial Group" as hacking, as the latter had broken the password of the source so as to plagiarize the data collected during several years. According to Robert Avagian and Gevorg Malkhasian, their appeal to the Court is to create a precedent and demonstrate that copyright can be protected in Armenia.