Collecting societies

Anticompetitive practices

The US DoJ opens a review of the consent decrees in the music industry and expects comments on the competitive concerns that arise from the joint licensing of music by performance rights organizations and the remediation of those concerns
Sheppard Mullin (New York)
Department of Justice Opens Review of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees* The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced in June 2014 that it has opened a review of the 73-year-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. In its press release, the DOJ noted that it is most interested in (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority releases a report concerning the lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCCA: Lack of uniformity in licensing and supervision practices hurt the ability of companies to operate on the market* The lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices make it more difficult for companies to enter the field and expand their operations, according (...)

A Swedish Court of Appeal holds that the agreements whereby authors had entrusted the administration of their literary works to a collecting society constitutes the basis of an unlawful cooperation and thus were null and void (Mediearkivet)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Cosmetics Europe
Introduction In two cases concerning the administration by a collecting society of literary works, the Stockholm District Court and, on appeal, the Court of Appeal, examined the agreements whereby authors had entrusted the administration of their literary works to a collecting society. It was (...)

The Polish competition authority imposes a financial penalty on a collective copyright management association for practices restricting competition (SAWP)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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Orange (Warsaw)
Introduction Polish competition authority questions the practices of the Polish Musical Performing Artists’ Association (SAWP - Stowarzyszenie Artystów Wykonawców Utworów Muzycznych i Słowno-Muzycznych). In the decision from June 10, 2009, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses appeal against rejection of complaint with respect to collective management of copyright for musical works in Greece (AEPI)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 April 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed the appeal brought by AEPI against a judgment of the Court of First Instance (“CFI”) upholding the Commission’s decision to reject a complaint lodged by AEPI, a Greek entity in charge of collective management of intellectual property (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mengozzi recommends annulment of CFI’s judgment in the collective management of copyright sector (AEPI)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Advocate General (AG) Mengozzi has recently delivered two interesting opinions in the field of competition law enforcement. On appeal in the AEPIand Archer Daniels Midlandcases, he advised the Court of Justice to quash the judgments of the Court of First Instance (CFI). He further recommended (...)

A German court holds that reciprocal representation agreements concluded between national collecting societies are not void for breach of Art. 81 EC (GEMA / BUMA, STEMRA)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 7 November 2008, the Regional Court of Mannheim issued a decision on the validity of territorial limitations contained in reciprocal representation agreements concluded between national collecting societies. The case concerned the question whether a national collecting society was entitled (...)

The European Commission prohibits European collecting societies from restricting competition as regards the conditions for the management and licensing of authors’ public performance rights for musical works (CISAC)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The CISAC decision - creating competition between collecting societies for music rights"* I. Introduction On 16 July 2008 the European Commission adopted a decision prohibiting 24 European collecting societies from restricting competition as regards the conditions for the management and (...)

The European Commission exempts a standard agreement entered into by a number of copyright administration societies from Europe, South America, Asia and New Zealand (IFPI Simulcasting)
University of Lisbon
"From discothèques to websites, a new approach to music copyright licensing: the Simulcasting decision"* On 8 October 2002 the Commission adopted a decision in case COMP/C2/38.014 IFPI Simulcasting exempting a standard agreement entered into by a number of copyright administration societies (...)

Dominance

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority issues report on collective management organisations and the promotion of healthy competition on the copyrighted works market (Teosto / Gramex / Kopiosto / Tuotos)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority: Numerous problems on the copyright market* The ambiguity of the legislation and the complexity of the market serve to fortify the monopoly of the collective management organisations on the market, says the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reauthorises arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music, subject to certain conditions (APRA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC requires improved dispute resolution in performing rights arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reauthorised the Australasian Performing Right Association’s (APRA) arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music, subject to (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow the national music copyright collection society to continue its arrangement for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights subject to a range of conditions (APRA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes changes to performing rights arrangement* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to continue its arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music subject to a range of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines collecting society for having abused its dominant position in relation to the management of intellectual property rights for musical videos played on jukeboxes (Asociación de Gestión de Derechos Intelectuales)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Collecting Society AGEDI concerning Management of IPR for Use of Musical Videos on Jukebox* By decision of 26 August 2013, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) Council fined Asociación de Gestión de Derechos Intelectuales (AGEDI) € 51 (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina prosecutes a collecting society for abuse of dominance (AMUS)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 11 June 2013 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) found that a collecting society with exclusive right to collect royalties for broadcasting of musical works AMUS has abused its dominant position on the relevant market by applying discriminatory conditions towards (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing* On 2 April the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for abuse of dominant position. Royalty tariffs for music airplay in retail (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
European Commission (Brussels)
Latvia: The Competition Council fines collective Copyright Management Association for Excessive Pricing* On 2 April 2013, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for having abused its dominant position by (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines IP rights collecting society for abuse of dominant position (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) for Abuse of Dominant Position* In its Resolution of 3 July 2012, the Council of the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) decided that SGAE (IP rights collecting society) had abused its (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines copyright collecting societies for abusing of their dominant position (AGEDI, AIE)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Copyright Collecting Societies AGEDI and AIE* In its Resolution of 14 June 2012, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) Council declared that the Asociación de Gestión de Derechos Intelectuales (AGEDI) and Artistas, Intérpretes y (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision concerning the abuse of dominance in collection of royalties by the Croatian Composers’ Society (Croatian Composers’ Society)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS-ZAMP) for abusing its dominant position on the market for collection of royalties for copyrighted music (...)

The Spanish NCC closes, subject to commitments, proceeding against the performer’s collective management organization for unfair and discriminatory tariffs on TV broadcasting of audiovisual works (AISGE)
Callol, Coca & Asociados
The commitments finally presented by AISGE redesign the calculation of the tariffs to reflect effective use of its repertoire and have been considered adequate to resolve the anti-competitive effects of the conduct of AISGE; AISGE was under investigation in relation to unfair and discriminatory (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the Spanish copyright collecting society for abusive practices (AIE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 23 July 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority fined AIE, the Spanish collecting society for music artists, for abusive practices in the period since 1995, in breach of Article 82 EC and the equivalent Spanish provision. The decision followed from a complaint by Telecinco, a Spanish (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines music industry collecting societies for discriminatory pricing (AGEDI, AIE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 9 December 2008, the Spanish Competition Authority adopted a decision fining the two Spanish collecting societies in the music industry, AGEDI (representing music producers) and AIE (representing artists), for discriminatory pricing in breach of Article 82 EC and the equivalent provision of (...)

The Spanish NCC fines collecting societies for the second time in two years for abuse of dominance in their management of intellectual property rights (AGEDI)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On 9th December 2008, the Spanish Competition Commission (“CNC”) issued a decision, establishing that the Association for the Management of Intellectual Property Rights (AGEDI) and the Management Society of Artists, Interpreters or Performers (AIE) had abused their dominant position in the market (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a financial penalty on an authors’ association for a late compliance with a previous cease and desist order (ZAiKS)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Article 107 of the Act of 16 February 2007 on Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the ACCP) provides, inter alia, that the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter : the OCCP President) may impose on undertakings a financial penalty equivalent up to (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a collective performance rights organisation of allegations of price discrimination and excessive pricing (Fresh FM - Buma)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Introduction On the 16 January 2003, the commercial regional radio station Fresh FM submitted a complaint to the Dutch Competition Authority, the Nma, regarding the tariffs charged by Buma, the Dutch collective performance rights organization, to its clients. Fresh FM accused Buma of abusing (...)

The Polish Supreme Court confirms that the Authors’ Association falls within the scope of national competition law provisions (ZaiKS)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Authors’ Association ZaiKS (hereafter: ZAiKS) is the biggest and the oldest music collecting management organization in Poland and a member of CISAC, i.e. the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. While at the EC level the EC Commission has condemned the use of (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection conducts anti-trust proceedings against the Polish authors’ association in order to stop alleged monopolist practices (ZAiKS)
Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners
Background For several years now, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is carefully monitoring the practices of the copyright protection organizations and, as a result, there are few cases pending nowadays related to the competition protection within the copyright market. (...)

The Swedish Market Court makes a preliminary reference to the ECJ on copyright management by collecting societies (Kanal 5 and TV 4)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
Introduction Since Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, the Swedish courts have been reluctant to make preliminary references to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in all fields of law. Up until 2006, the Swedish courts had made on average 5 preliminary references per year, in (...)

The Spanish Competition Court establishes that a collecting society has abused its dominant position by discriminating two TV operators but rejects plaintiffs’ claims that prices were excessive (AGEDI)
The Spanish Intellectual Property law has been modified over time. The law that currently regulates Intellectual Property dates from 1996 and compiles all the applicable legislation on this matter. This law, called Texto Refundido de la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (from now on TRLPI) has (...)

A Spanish Commercial Court establishes that a collecting society did not abuse its dominant position by refusing to provide special rates to a pay-TV digital platform (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Canal Satélite Digital, SL (hereinafter, “CSD”), the only pay-TV digital platform currently operating in Spain, and DTS Distribuidora de TV Digital (“DTS”) (together, the “Complainants”) lodged a claim against the collecting society Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (“SGAE“) for an alleged (...)

A Spanish Court clears the main national collecting society’s pricing practice (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues
A Spanish commercial judge has made an interesting contribution to the series of cases under EC antitrust law concerning the pricing practices of national copyright-management societies (hereinafter, “collecting societies”). The two applicants are digital TV platforms offering their clients (...)

A Spanish Court dismisses an application brought by a pay-TV against the Spanish copyright collecting society for breach of Art. 82 EC (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
London School of Economics
Canal Satélite Digital, S.L. (hereinafter, “Canal Satélite”) y DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (“DTS”) are two Spanish companies whose main shareholder is Sogecable, the main pay-TV operator in Spain (which develop its pay-TV activities under the commercial name Digital+). Canal Satélite (...)

Polish Competition Authorities examine the dominant position abuse of an authors’ association on the national music copyright collective management market (ZAiKS)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
On January 9th, 2006, the Competition and Consumer Protection Court (hereafter,“CCPC”) upheld the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter, “OCCP President”) condemning ZAiKS Authors’ Association (hereafter, ZAiKS) for abusing its dominant position on (...)

A Belgian Court applies Art. 82 EC and holds that the national copyright management society abused its dominant position while relying on an European Commission written opinion delivered in the assistance procedure (SABAM / Productions & Marketing)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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In April 2000, Productions & Marketing requested authorisation from SABAM (Belgian Society of Authors) to use works of its catalogue for five concerts. SABAM offers a preferential tariff (50% price reduction) to companies considered as "big organisers". SABAM refused to grant Productions (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeals rules that the major Belgian collecting society has abused its dominant position under Art. 82 EU after having received an opinion from the EC Commission (SABAM / Productions & Marketing)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
The Parties The case opposed the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SABAM) and Productions & Marketing (P&M), a company whose business activities consist of the organization of concerts and musical events. Background In 2000 and 2001, P&M organized Charles (...)

The Greek Competition Authority considers that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property has abused its dominant position on the market for the administration of the intellectual property rights of Greek and foreign composers (AEPI)
University College London
A number of Greek composers and the Association of Greek composers complained to the Hellenic Competition Commission (Competition Commission) that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), a profit making organization of collective administration and distribution of (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court confirms criminal sanctions against the CEO of a national copyright-management society for excessive fees (X / SACEM)
WTG Events
Despite the de-penalization of anticompetitive practices, acknowledged by many authors, and implemented by the Order of 1st December 1986 (the Order), Article L. 420-6 of the French commercial code (the FCC) still states that : “If any natural person fraudulently takes a personal and decisive (...)

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