|Merpel was really enjoying her day ...|
This is Case C-572/13 Hewlett-Packard Belgium, a reference from ... Belgium (indeed), seeking clarification as to - among other things - the notion of fair compensation [this is no new business for the Court: recent references on this have been Case C-467/08 Padawan, on which see here, and Case C-521/11 Amazon, on which see here].
As explained by the IPO, the background dispute concerns a Belgian law by which a levy must be applied against devices sold to the Belgian government for remunerating authors and publishers of works copied. It is argued that the Belgian law is incompatible with EU law as 'remuneration' in the Belgian legislation is not consistent with that of 'fair compensation'.
|... Until she spotted |
reference to the 'ECJ'
Must the term 'fair compensation' contained in Article 5(2)(a) and Article 5(2)(b) [of Directive 2001/29/EC] be interpreted differently depending on whether the reproduction on paper or a similar medium effected by the use of any kind of photographic technique or by some other process having similar effects is carried out by any user or by a natural person for private use and for ends that are neither directly nor indirectly commercial [just reading this makes Merpel want to take a headache painkiller, but hold on: the other questions are even longer]? If the answer is in the affirmative, on what criteria must that difference of interpretation be based?
Must Article 5(2)(a) and Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 be interpreted as authorising the Member States to fix the fair compensation payable to rightholders in the form of: (1) a lump-sum remunerative payment made by the manufacturer, importer or intra-Community acquirer of devices enabling protected works to be copied, at the time when such devices are put into circulation on national territory, the amount of which is calculated solely by reference to the speed at which the copier is capable of producing a number of copies per minute, without being otherwise linked to any harm suffered by rightholders; and, (2) a proportional remunerative payment, determined solely by means of a unit price multiplied by the number of copies produced, which varies depending on whether or not the person liable for payment has cooperated in the collection of that remuneration, which is payable by natural or legal persons making copies of works or, as the case may be, in lieu of those persons, by those who, for consideration or free of charge, make a reproduction device available to others.
|Rupert is already drafting his answers,|
confident that they will be shorter
and perhaps more intelligible than
the questions referred
Must Article 5(2)(a) and Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 be interpreted as authorising the Member States to allocate half of the fair compensation due to rightholders to the publishers of works created by authors, the publishers being under no obligation whatsoever to ensure that the authors benefit, even indirectly, from some of the compensation of which they have been deprived?'