Monday 8 June 2015

Questions from Coimbra as yet another reference is made to the CJEU

From Axel Paul Ringelhann comes news of another copyright-related reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling. It's Case C-151/15 Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores CRL v Ministério Público and it's a request from the Tribunal da Relação de Coimbra, Portugal. Again, its theme is that of "communication of works to the public". Asks the referring court:
1. Is the concept of the communication of works to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29 [the InfoSec Directive] to be interpreted as encompassing the transmission of broadcast works in commercial premises such as bars, cafes, restaurants or other such establishments with similar characteristics, via television receiving apparatus, where the transmission of such works is amplified by speakers or amplifiers, thus constituting, in that context, a new use of copyright-protected works?

2. Does the use of speakers and/or amplifiers, that is, technical means other than television broadcast reception equipment, to amplify broadcast sound have any affect on the answer to the first question?
This blogger will confine himself to the observation that technology-neutral legislation such as Article 3(1), which reads
"Member States shall provide authors with the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them",
has not succeeded as a means of preventing technology-specific questions being asked of the CJEU, since -- however general the terms of the legislation may be -- communication to the public is a phenomenon that is in practice anything but technology-neutral.


Graham Smith said...

After what the CJEU did in TV Catchup technology-specific questions were inevitable!

Pedro Malaquias said...

This is a follow-up to this