The Court of Justice ruled once again on fair compensation for private copying

The Court of Justice of the European Union, by decision of 16 June 2011 (C-462/09), has ruled once again on fair compensation for private copying. In particular, the Court of Justice reiterated that the purpose of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society is to ensure fair compensation to authors who, in general, have an exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the reproduction of their works. An exception to this exclusive right, under the Directive, is for "private copying", which refers to reproductions on any medium made by a natural person for private use and for purposes that are neither directly nor indirectly commercial. But that exception is allowed only in case the national authorities ensure fair compensation to authors. In this respect, the decision of 16 June has made it clear that, given the practical difficulties in identifying private users, Member States are entitled to collect the amount of fair compensation for private copying not from users, but from the sellers of digital devices or those who make them available for reproduction to private users, even if they have their headquarters in a Member State other than that of the buyers. This is also explained by the fact that only those who make reproduction equipment, devices and media available to the final user, are able to pass on the cost of fair compensation for private copying in the price paid by the final user for that service.

07/06/2011 | Copyright