The Uradex case (Case C-169/05 URADEX SCRL v Union Professionelle de la Radio et de la Télédistribution (RTD) and Société Intercommunale pour la Diffusion de la Télévision (BRUTELE) has just been referred to the European Court of Justice by the Cour de Cassation de Belgique for a preliminary ruling on the question:
"Must Article 9(2) of Council Directive 93/83 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission be interpreted as meaning that, where a collecting society is deemed to be mandated to manage the rights of a copyright owner or holder of related rights who has not transferred the management of his rights to a collecting society, that society does not have the power to exercise that rightholder's right to grant or refuse authorisation to a cable operator for cable retransmission, since it is mandated only to manage the pecuniary aspects of that rightholder's rights?".
How retransmission has changed our lives
In other words, are satellite and cable retransmission collecting societies just that -- recipients of rights owners' money -- or can they say "non" to cable operators?
The IPKat suspects that this reference will go in favour of the cable operators, but -- knowing how the ECJ can rewrite the text of Directives -- he won't prejudge the issue.