Job opportunity in culture: a personality

By the accession of Central European countries to the European Union we have gone along a thorny but much needed path to be incorporated into the economic and legal space with 500 million inhabitants. We have harmonised the legislation, regulated the conditions of operation of large and small businesses, adapted the import and export rules, as was required by the accession process. In doing so, each of us has gone a different road, although in the past we belonged together within the Soviet sphere of influence. The agriculture of Hungary did not amount to that of Slovakia, let alone the German one, copyrights, licenses, statistics and business management in the Czech Republic did not equal those in Poland.
The entire infrastructure underlying the economic and financial strength of each state was subject to protracted changes and we had to adapt. Often we read romantic accounts of what would have happened if European integration started from culture and not from coal and steel.
But when we delve deeper into the review of the existing infrastructure underlying the strength of the various national cultures, even a naive Dunno knows that there are differences among us shaped by the history huge that we would still sit in Rome today arguing over which management system culture is better and more modern. And yet, although the culture is not a part of the integration rules, the systems of funding, governance of institutions and education in culture in the individual EU countries are changing, and in a way harmonising as well.
One of the crucial tasks, in addition to the financial crises and turmoil which have affected the public budgets, was played by the great personalities of European culture, who were appointed in the second half of the 20th century to the posts of ministers of culture with their ideas and plans.
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Why do we want Slovakia to be famous?

In late 1990s, Karol Spišák, the director of Nitra, attended a theater festival somewhere abroad. He met with a cultural community in the country who asked him where he came from. From Slovakia, he said proudly. Slow, slow … from Ljubljana? The first one asked. No, Karol replied condescendingly, it is Slo-va-ki-a, he stressed. BELGRADE? Another one asked . No, S-L-O-V-A-K-I-A, Karol spoke up. I have never heard of that, sadly added the third. Slovakia! Karol got furious. – Prague!! Oh yes, clear, great … Menzel, Hrabal, Kundera …., Havel, clear. The cultural folks lightened up . Continue reading

Copyright – our headache

We are looking at the current Act. 618/2003 Coll. concerning copyright and rights related to copyright (the Copyright Act), as amended (the „Copyright Act“) of the National Council of the Slovak Republic adopted in December 2003, effective from 1 1. 2004, valid and effective eleventh year. Overall, for this time the Copyright Act amended six times. While we can state (with the exception of two extensive amendments) that all the amendments to exhibit a common characteristic feature – changes are partial in nature and lacking a conceptual and systematic approach. Given the fact that it is a significant piece of legislation with an impact on many private legal relations, as well as the rapid progress of relevant social and technological change in relation to new ways of creating and use of copyright works, consider this way of approaching the legislature as not appropriate. Many submissions in the legislative discussion suggest that the legal codification work will probably not be easy. It thus remains to hope that the new copyright act will as far as possible reflect the realities of the digital era and the associated forms of creation and use of copyrighted works.

Martin Konvit