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Friday, 8 December 2006


The IPKat thanks Piter de Weerd for tipping him off about the ECJ’s decision yesterday in the SGAE case. The referred question asked whether providing a television set in a hotel room constituted performance in public for the purposes of Article 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC (the InfoSoc Directive) and so could be considered an act of copyright infringement.

The ECJ answered the question in the affirmative, concluding:

1. While the mere provision of physical facilities
does not as such amount to communication within the meaning of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of copyright and related rights in the information society, the distribution of a signal by means of television sets by a hotel to customers staying in its rooms, whatever technique is used to transmit the signal,
constitutes communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of
that directive.

2. The private nature of hotel rooms does not preclude the communication of a work by means of television sets from constituting communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29.
The IPKat notes the difficulties of defining the public in situations where only limited access to the place in question is granted.

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