How fair is fair compensation for private copying

How fair is fair compensation for private copying

Philippe Péters, partner, and Pierre-Yves Thoumsin, associate at NautaDutilh, outline the Advocate General’s (AG) opinion (not released in English) on fair compensation to rights holders for the act of private copying and examine the opinion in Hewlett Packard Belgium v Reprobel SCRL: C-572/13

What was the background to this referral to the CJEU?

This case was referred by the Brussels Court of Appeal in the context of a dispute between the manufacturers and importers of multifunction printers and the collection agency responsible for ensuring fair compensation to rights holders for reproductions made with the printers.

The manufacturers and the collection agency disagreed on the rate of fair compensation applicable to such multifunction devices used to print, scan, copy and fax documents.

What are the key legal issues highlighted by this referral?

The four questions referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) related to the interpretation of Directive 2001/29/EC, art 5(2)(a)(b) on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (InfoSoc Directive).

The four questions were:

  • Is there an obligation for member states to set a different amount of fair compensation, depending on whether the multifunction printers are used for commercial or private purposes?
  • Are member states authorised to fix the fair compensation payable to rights holders in the form of both a lump-sum payment made by the manufacturer of the device and

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