Saturday

28th May 2022

EU court curbs public copyright compensation

  • "Legal persons should not be the persons ultimately liable for payment" of private copies, the EU court said (Photo: Ben Adamson)

Public budgets cannot be used to compensate copyright owners for private copies, the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday (9 June).

The Luxembourg-based judges said that a 2001 EU directive on copyrights precludes schemes by which copyrights owners get a so-called fair compensation when private people use works "for private use and for non-commercial ends", if the compensation is taken out of the state budget.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

They said the scheme did not "guarantee that the cost of the fair compensation is ultimately borne by the users of private copies".

The ECJ was asked its opinion by Spain's supreme court after intellectual property rights collecting societies asked for the Spanish system to be abolished.

According to the system, fair compensation is determined annually and split between copyright owners.

Judges said that EU countries were free to establish a scheme under which legal persons, as opposed to private persons, are "under certain conditions and for practical reasons, required to finance the fair compensation".

But they added that such legal persons should not be the persons ultimately liable for payment of that burden".

"That requirement applies in all situations in which a member state has introduced the private copying exception, regardless of whether it establishes a fair compensation scheme financed by a levy or by its budget," the ECJ statement said.

The Spanish system also exists in Estonia, Finland and Norway. Other countries use different schemes.

The EU court ruling comes the EU as the bloc looks for ways to ensure a balance between new ways of consuming content and demands by copyright owners to be compensated for use that they cannot control.

EU copyright reforms kicked into 2016

The European Commission appears to be postponing key reforms of the EU's fragmented copyright system, according to a leaked paper.

EP adopts 'watered down' copyright report

MEPs have adopted keenly-awaited proposals they'd like to see in the commission’s forthcoming copyright reform, but they were roundly criticised by all sides.

Opinion

Let's fix EU copyright law

Europe’s messy copyright legal framework doesn’t belong in the 21st century. A citizens' movement can help reform it.

EU Commission extends borrowing curbs in 2023

The European Commission on Monday proposed to extend suspension of fiscal borrowing rule in 2023 — but advised prudence amid already rising real interest rates.

Commission grilled on RePowerEU €210bn pricetag

EU leaders unveiled a €210bn strategy aiming to cut Russian gas out of the European energy equation before 2027 and by two-thirds before the end of the year — but questions remain on how it is to be financed.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us