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The UK Consults on the Collective Rights Management Directive

By Jeremy Blum and Jade McIntyre, Bristows

Blum_Jeremy2 The EU Directive on the collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of online music (“the Directive”), published on 26 February 2014, entered into force on 10 April 2014 and must be transposed into national law by 10 April 2016. The policy underpinning the Directive is part of the European Commission’s ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ and the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy for ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’.

The purpose of the Directive is to:

  • Modernise and improve standards of governance, financial management and transparency of all EU collective management organisations (CMOs), so that rights-holders have [...]
Red light for Sabam’s pricing system for Internet access providers: up- and downstream IAP traffic do not constitute communication or making a work available to the public

Rosario-Debilio2On the 13th March 2015, the President of the Brussels French speaking Court of First Instance pronounced a judgment to the detriment of Sabam, an important collective management organisation in Belgium. In 2011 Sabam decided to claim a fee from Internet access providers in exchange for a licence which allows these providers to communicate copyright protected works to the public (see here). I shall first discuss the control on the pricing system set up by Sabam. I shall then study how electronic communication law’s notions were used to define the scope of this pricing system. A final discussion will be dedicated to the rest of the procedure in this case setting the Belgian State against Sab [...]

Why the reform of the Spanish law has been contested in the Spanish Constitutional Court

Pablo HernandezThe latest large-scale reform of the Spanish Copyright Act was published on 5 November 2014.  The key aspects of the reform are discussed here.  The bulk of the opposition to the reform contends that two provisions of the Act, namely, the new regulation for private copying and the imposition of a “one-stop shop” system, breach the Spanish Constitution.    

The current Spanish governing party decided as soon as they came to power, at the end of 2011, to abolish private copy payments by consumers in Spain in order to fulfil a campaign pledge to voters.  Since no one wanted to make private copying into an illegal practice, the solution was to keep the copyright limit and to add the [...]

Spain: An excessive fee for concert licensing

Pablo HernandezCompetition and collecting societies: a special application of European legal doctrine in Spain.

“It seems to utilise the previous methods in a forced manner, even though those methods had led to very different conclusions on a European level.”

In a recent decision by the Spanish Market and Competition Commission (CNMC), once again penalising SGAE with a fine of 3.1 million Euros for demanding an excessive fee for concert licensing, an attempt was made to apply European doctrine. 

The decision is particularly interesting because the Spanish competition authority has interpreted European legal doctrine on the method of analysing the fairness of a fee and does so with a personal touch th [...]

UK: Extended Collective Licensing

Dinusha Mendis - Victoria StoboOn the 1st October 2014, the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations 2014 came into force in the UK.1  

Licensing bodies and collecting societies already operate within the UK, providing rights management and licensing services for their rightsholder members across a range of sectors including publishing, art and design, music and performance.2  Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) occurs where a collecting society is granted permission to license specific kinds of copyright works across an entire sector, thereby representing the interests of non-member rightsholders in addition to those of their own members. ECL was first developed in the Nordic co [...]

CJEU in OSA: a victory for right holders against free use and of CMOs against the European Commission?

Sylvie-Nérisson“The answers from Luxembourg were much awaited not only due to the questions being interesting as such, but also because academia, the European Commission and the CJEU do not see eye to eye on these currently highly debated issues.”

In response to questions lodged by a Czech court (Krajský soud v Plzni) in a preliminary ruling procedure ( C‑351/12), the Court of Justice of the European Union decided earlier this year that there is no flexibility in the interpretation of the Infosoc directive (2001/29/EC) regarding limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights (points 40-41) and that the statutory monopoly position of a CMO complies with the requirements of the Services directive (200 [...]

Dutch Supreme Court: Cable retransmission has ended, but the levy might be reintroduced

DVisserImportant ruling by Dutch Supreme Court on cable retransmission, film copyright and collective management of rights

Guest blog by Prof. Dr D.J.G. Visser, Institute for Private Law, Leiden University 

“This could well mean that several Dutch collecting societies, in particular those representing actors, screenwriters and directors (Norma, Lira and Vevam) can no longer claim remuneration for cable (re)transmission of programs broadcast by Dutch broadcasters.”

The cable distribution of Dutch television programs as it currently takes place in The Netherlands is no longer a ‘cable retransmission’ in the sense of the EU Satellite and Cable (SatCab) Directive, because it is no longer precede [...]

France solves its XXe century book problem!

Without much noise, France recently adopted Act Nr. 2012-287 of 1st March 2012 relating to the digital exploitation of unavailable books of the 20th century. Contrary to past initiatives from the French lawmaker, the Act does not relate to orphan works, but rather to out-of-commerce works. Or, more precisely: books.

According to the explanatory memorandum to the Proposal, France is the first country in the world to put in place a modern and efficient mechanism to regulate the use of unavailable works, which forms today’s biggest obstacle to the digitization of cultural heritage. The French solution is presented as offering a response to the rejected Google settlement in the United States.

W [...]

Music broadcasting at the dentist’s and in hotel rooms. CJEU clarifies “communication to the public”

On 15 March 2012 the CJEU has ruled two cases where it had been asked to decide whether producers of phonograms (or the collecting society on their behalf) are entitled to obtain equitable remuneration when a user allows its clients to hear the phonogram by way of background music in a place subject to his control.

The first case, referred by the Court of Appeal of Turin (Italy), involved Società Consortile Fonografici (SCF), the Italian society that collects and distributes to artists and phonogram producers the royalties for the use in public of recorded music, and Mr. Marco Del Corso, a dentist who used to broadcast background music from the radio in the waiting room of his private denta [...]

The legal monopoly of Hungarian CMO’s will be abolished

By dr. Anikó Grad-Gyenge, Károli University of Budapest

Only the final voting is needed for passing the amendment of copyright law in Hungary, which is intended to abolish the legal monopoly of collective rights management organisations (CMOs). This amendment might seem surprising after the infringement procedure launched by the European Commission in this question against Hungary appeared to have come to a ‘standstill’ in 2009.

In the actual system only one CMO is to be registered for the same right of the same rightholder group. Therefore today composers’ rights are managed by Artisjus (collective rights management society of literary and music authors), performers’ rights by the [...]

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