In the realm of EU copyright law, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has recently underscored the importance of authors’ exclusive right to authorize or prohibit any public communication of their works.
This ruling has significant implications for the broadcasting of musical works as background music in public transport, which the CJEU has deemed a form of public communication.
However, the court clarified that the mere presence of sound equipment and software enabling the broadcasting of such music does not equate to communication.
This distinction is crucial in understanding the scope of EU copyright law and the rights it confers on authors and neighboring right holders.
Table of Contents
📗 The Case in Focus
The case in question involved two Romanian collective management organizations that filed national court proceedings against an air transport company and a rail transport company.
They alleged that these companies were broadcasting musical works on board their vehicles without a license, thereby infringing on the authors’ exclusive rights.
The defendants argued that the presence of software enabling the broadcasting of music did not constitute a communication to the public.
The CJEU, however, held that the broadcasting of a musical work as background music in public transport does constitute a communication to the public, regardless of the profit-making objective behind such communication.
📗 The Role of EU Directive 2001/29/EC
The CJEU’s ruling aligns with the provisions of Directive 2001/29/EC, which seeks to harmonize certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.
This directive mandates that EU member states provide authors with the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit any communication to the public of their works.
The directive also covers the reproduction right, the right of communication to the public, and the distribution right, among others.
It provides for exceptions and limitations to these rights to ensure a balance between the rights of intellectual property holders and the public.
📗 The Impact of the CJEU’s Ruling
The CJEU’s ruling reinforces the importance of copyright protection in the EU and the need for appropriate sanctions and remedies for any infringement of such rights.
It also underscores the need for an equitable balance between the rights of intellectual property holders and the public.
In conclusion, the CJEU’s recent affirmation of authors’ exclusive right to authorize or prohibit any public communication of their works underscores the importance of copyright protection in the EU.
It serves as a reminder of the need for compliance with EU copyright law and the potential consequences of non-compliance.
Last Updated on 18 May, 2023
Samuel loves writing, talking about and jornaling every law aspect he can come across, with a strong passsion for Maltese Law.