ECJ: the remuneration payable in the event of public lending must ensure to authors an adequate income

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According to the directive on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field  of intellectual property, authors have an exclusive right to authorise or prohibit the rental and  lending of  originals and copies of copyright works. However, as regards more particularly public lending, the Member States may derogate from that exclusive right, provided that at least authors obtain remuneration for such lending. VEWA is a Belgian copyright management society. On 7 July 2004, VEWA brought an action for annulment before the Raad van State (Belgian Council of State) against a royal decree transposing the directive. VEWA submits in particular that that royal decree, by fixing a flat-rate remuneration of €1 per adult per year and 50 cents  per child per year registered with the lending institutions, as long as that person has  borrowed once during the reference period, infringes the provisions of the directive which require that ‘equitable remuneration’ be paid for a loan or a rental. In that context, the Raad van State decided to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice. It asks essentially whether the directive precludes a national system under which the remuneration payable to authors in the event of public lending is calculated exclusively in accordance with the number of borrowers registered with public establishments, in particular libraries, on the basis of a flat-rate sum fixed per borrower per year. The Court points out that the remuneration must enable authors to receive an adequate income. Here to read more.

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