The Supreme Court in its judgment of 26 January 2011 case file IV CSK 274/10 held that creation of legal rules that are included in the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych) of 4 February 1994, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631, with subsequent amendments, and that concern copyright agreements, does not exclude the applicability of the provisions of the Civil Code, especially particular chapters of the CC. The conclusion of contracts other than these provided for in the ARNR, mainly the contract of transfer of copyrights (i.e. all economic rights that are primarily attributed to the creator) or the contract for the use of the work (licences), is not excluded if the specificity of copyright is also taken into account. There was also no reason to exclude – in principle – the possibility to establish the lease on copyright, of course, after the conditions set in Article 709 of the CC have been satisfied.
Article 693. § 1. By a contract of tenancy, the landlord shall assume the obligation to give a thing to the tenant for use and the collection of fruits for definite or indefinite time, and the tenant shall assume the obligation to pay to the landlord the rent agreed upon.
§ 2. The rent may be stipulated in money or in performances of another kind. It may also be specified in terms of a fraction of the fruits.
Article 694. The provisions on lease shall apply respectively to tenancy with the observance of the provisions stated below.
Article 695. § 1. The tenancy concluded for a period longer than thirty years shall be deemed, after the lapse of that period, to be concluded for indefinite time.
§ 2. Repealed.
Article 696. The tenant shall exercise his right in accordance with the requirements of proper management and cannot change the designation of the object of tenancy without the consent of the landlord.
Article 697. The tenant shall be obliged to make repairs indispensable for maintaining the object of tenancy in a non-deteriorated condition.
Article 698. § 1. The tenant cannot, without the consent of the landlord, give the object of tenancy to a third party for gratuitous use nor for holding under a subtenancy.
§ 2. In the case of non-observance of the above obligation, the landlord may terminate the contract of tenancy without observing the time limit of the notice.
Article 699. If the time limit of the payment of the rent is not specified in the contract, the rent shall be payable after a time limit customarily accepted, and in the absence of such custom semiannually at the end of every period.
Article 700. If, as a result of circumstances for which the tenant is not liable and which do not pertain to him personally, the usual revenue from the object of tenancy is considerably reduced, the tenant may claim a reduction of the rent for the given economic period.
Article 701. The movable things covered by the statutory right of pledge vested in the landlord shall include the things used in the running of a farm or an enterprise if they are on the area of the object of tenancy.
Article 702. If it is stipulated in the contract that in addition to the rent the tenant shall have the obligation to pay taxes and bear other burdens connected with the ownership or the possession of the object of tenancy as well as to bear the costs of its insurance, the statutory right of pledge vested in the landlord shall also cover his claims to the tenant for the reimbursement of the sum paid by the landlord for the reasons specified above.
Article 703. If the tenant is in delay with the payment of the rent for at least two full periods of payment, and if the rent is payable annually, if he is in delay for more than three months, the landlord may terminate the contract of tenancy without observing the time limit for the notice. However, the landlord shall warn the tenant by setting him an additional time limit of three months for the payment of the rent in arrear.
Article 704. In the absence of a contract to the contrary, the contract of tenancy of agricultural land may be terminated one year in advance at the end of the year of tenancy, and another contract of tenancy, six months in advance before the lapse of the year of tenancy.
Article 705. After the termination of the tenancy, the tenant shall be obliged, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, to return the object of the tenancy in the condition in which it should be in accordance with the provisions on the exercise of tenancy.
Article 706. If, at the termination of the tenancy, the tenant of agricultural land leaves it sown according to his duty, he may claim the reimbursement of the outlays on those crops, where, contrary to the requirements of proper management, he did not receive the appropriate crops at the beginning of the tenancy.
Article 707. If the tenancy ends before the end of the tenancy year, the tenant shall be obliged to pay the rent in such proportion in which the fruits which he collected or could have collected bear to the fruits from the entire year of tenancy.
Article 708. The provisions of the present Section shall apply respectively where the person taking an agricultural immovable property for use and collection of fruits is not obliged to pay the rent but only to pay the taxes and to bear other burdens connected with the ownership or the possession of land.
Article 709. The provisions on the tenancy of things shall apply respectively to the lease of rights.
The lease would have to include at least one field of exploitation (the concept included in the Polish copyright law, where the owner has the right to dispose the use of a copyrighted work on different fields of use) and the associated possibility of obtaining benefits, for example, by allowing the lessee to display the copyrighted work for profits.
The Court ruled also that the exhibition of photographs can be a derivative work as defined in the Article 2(1) of the ARNR.
Art. 2.-1. Derived works made from the work of another, in particular translations, transformations and adaptations, shall be protected by copyright without prejudice to the rights in the original work.
2. The manner of disposal of the derived work and the use thereof shall be subject to the consent of the creator of the original work (dependent copyright), except where the economic rights in the original work have expired.
3. The creator of the original work may withdraw his consent if, in the course of the five years following its grant, the derived work has not been disclosed. Remuneration paid to the creator shall not be susceptible of repayment.
4. A work inspired by another’s work shall not be considered a derived work.
5. The name of the creator of the original work and the title thereof shall be mentioned on the copies of the derived work.
However, as in the case of other works, the final assessment depends on the outcome of the examination that was made in terms of statutory criteria for the work to be protected by copyright, taking into account that, while defining the derivatives, the basic prerequisite of creativity has to be taken into account.