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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:
What was the Advocate General’s opinion on the four questions referred?
The AG’s opinion on the four questions described above is the following:
The UK’s personal copying exception doesn’t provide for fair compensation: what messages can be drawn from the AG’s opinion that may apply to this position
The AG repeatedly stated that the application of the exceptions provided for by the InfoSoc Directive, art 5(2)(b) is optional for member states. Nevertheless, he stressed that once an exception has been implemented in a member state, it is subject to the self-standing concept of fair compensation, which must be interpreted in accordance with the CJEU’s case law.
Interviewed by Stephanie Boyer.
The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.
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