Tuesday 19 January 2010

Who pays for private copies?

The IPO website draws attention to a reference to the European Court concerning Article 5(2)(b) of the Copyright Directive (which allows national laws to create a private-copying exception so long as rightsholders receive fair compensation). The question:

“Does Directive 2001/29/EC, in particular Article 5(2)(b) and (5) thereof, provide any assistance in determining who should be regarded under national law as owing the 'fair compensation' referred to in Article 5(2)(b)? If so, what assistance does it provide?

In a case of distance selling in which the buyer is established in a different Member State to that of the seller, does Article 5(5) of Directive 2001/29/EC require national law to be interpreted so broadly that a person owing the 'fair compensation' referred to in Article 5(2)(b) of the directive who is acting on a commercial basis owes such compensation in at least one of the Member States involved in the distance selling?”
Dutch law (see Article 16c) has a private-copy exception provided that the author receives remuneration from the manufacturer or importer of the object on which the recording is made. Foundation ThuisKopie collect and distribute this remuneration. In this action they sued the German company Opus, a supplier of blank media, who sell into the Netherlands but are paying a comparable fee under German law.

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