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Rental and lending rights

Directives

Directive 92/100/EEC has been repealed and replaced by Directive 2006/115/EC, without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limits for transposition into national law of the Directives.

Directive 92/100/EEC harmonises the provisions relating to rental and lending rights as well as on certain rights related to copyright. It provides for exclusive rights to authorise or prohibit the rental and lending of both works subject to copyright and other objects subject to neighbouring rights. Furthermore, it provides for a harmonisation of certain neighbouring rights including the right of fixation, reproduction, broadcasting and communication to the public and distribution. Beneficiaries of rights related to copyright are performers, phonogram producers, film producers and broadcasters. The Directive (article 4) addresses collective management as a model for the management of the equitable remuneration right, but does not make collective management a requirement. As regards the exclusive public lending right, Member States can derogate from it, provided that at least authors obtain remuneration for such lending. The distribution right (Article 9) is limited by the principle of Community exhaustion; as a result, Member States are prevented from applying international exhaustion. Finally, the principal director of a cinematography work is to be considered as an author of such work.

Reports

European Commission published a report on the implementation of the Directive on the Rental and Lending Right and Certain Related Rights (92/100/EEC) in September 2002. The report assessed the implementation of the Public Lending Right provisions under the Directive and reiterates the Commission’s commitment to ensuring that the Public Lending Right is effective in all Member States and to monitoring the way increasing use of new technologies is affecting the application of the Public Lending Right. The Directive requires that the authors of books, films and any other copyright works and (at Member States’ discretion) other right holders, either have the right to authorise or refuse lending of their works by institutions such as public libraries, or that they be remunerated for such public lending.

Authorship of Cinematographic Works

All Member States now recognise the principal director of a film or audiovisual work as an author of the work and accord him or her the associated intellectual property rights, in line with the 1992 Directive on the Rental and Lending Right and Certain Related Rights. This has not made it more difficult to distribute and market audiovisual works, despite fears expressed by some Member States when the Directive was adopted. The objective of the relevant provision in the Directive was to ensure copyright for the principal director as the main creator of a film. Member States remain free to use national law to designate other co-authors.