Wednesday 28 December 2011

Private Copying Remuneration Law in France

Just published in the Official Journal of the French Republic of December 21, 2011 is Act #2011-1898 of December 20, 2011 respecting private copying remuneration.

As previously indicated, this bill (now law) amends the French regime applicable to private copying remuneration in three significant ways:
1- in a nod to a 2008 decision by the Conseil d'Etat, it provides that the remuneration is only due in respect of copying done from a "lawful source"; 
2- in a nod to the CJEU's Padawan ruling and a June 2011 decision by the Conseil d'Etat, it provides that such remuneration is not due in respect of media acquired for professional purposes; and 
3- it requires that the amount of the levy applicable to a given medium be brought to the purchaser's attention at the point of sale.
Regarding point 2, publication of the Act was followed two days later (December 23rd) by publication of Ministerial Order (arrêté) of December 20, 2011 with the form to be used to obtain reimbursement.

Of particular note is the fact that the Act (unlike the bill - some might say rather surreptitiously) actually steps beyond the narrow issue of private copying remuneration and re-defines the parameters of private copying itself. It amends Sections L.122-5 (copyright) and L..211-3 (neighbouring rights) of the Intellectual Property Code by expressly requiring that the copying be from a "lawful source" in order to qualify as a private copy (thus bringing the French regime closer to that already in force in Germany).

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