Public lending right: 8 cases decided
The Commission has decided to refer Ireland, Portugal and Spain to the European Court of Justice as these Member States exempt all public lending institutions from payment of copyright royalties on works which are borrowed, thus depriving authors from the income due to them.
The Commission has also decided to send letters of formal notice to Denmark, Finland and Sweden asking for further information about possible indirect discrimination in relation to the public lending of books and sound recordings
EU Directive 92/100/EEC on rental right and on certain rights related to copyright grants authors and other rightholders the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit the public lending of their works or other subject matter (books, CDs, DVDs etc.)
Member States may, instead of the exclusive lending right, establish a right for authors to be remunerated when their works are lent by public institutions.
They can also exempt certain categories of establishments from paying this remuneration. Harmonisation was needed because public lending activities can have a significant impact upon the internal market. For example, if a book can be borrowed from a public library, there may be less demand to buy it and this would reduce income for rightholders.
Since Belgium and France have recently adopted decrees completing the implementation of their laws on the public lending right, the Commission decided to close infringement proceedings against them.
Rental right: Portugal referred to the Court of Justice
The Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the European Court as it has found that, contrary to Directive 92/100/EEC, it has added a new category (producers of videos) to the exhaustive list of rightholders in the field of rental rights who can authorise, against payment, or prohibit the marketing of a work for rental. Portuguese law could impede the functioning of the single market.
Case closed involving UK commercial users
As a result of recent legal changes, UK commercial users (e.g. supermarkets, restaurants etc.) must now pay an equitable remuneration, provided for by Directive 92/100/EEC, whenever a phonogram is seen or heard by a non-paying audience. The remaining exemption concerns not-for-profit users only, but the Commission decided to close this case on procedural grounds.
Cases closed against Portugal and the Netherlands following implementation
The Commission has decided to close infringement proceedings against Portugal and the Netherlands as these Member States implemented, in August and September 2004 respectively, Directive 2001/29/EC on copyright in the Information Society.
Case closed following Irelandís accession to the 1971 Paris Act of the Berne Convention
The Commission has decided to close infringement proceedings against Ireland after this Member State ratified the 1971 Paris Act in December 2004. This is the revision of the most important international convention concerning authors. Ireland complied with EU law after the Commission referred it to the Court for the second time for non-compliance with a 2002 Courtís ruling. All EU Member States are now parties to the 1971 Paris Act of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.