Sunday, 28 March 2010

Hotels Subjected To Pay Fees To The Music Collecting Society SACEM

Cour de cassation, 1st Civil Chamber, January 14, 2010, n° 08-16.022

In a decision rendered on 14 January 2010, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) upheld the ruling condemning a hotel to the payment of copyright fees due for broadcasting audiovisual programmes containing musical works from the repertoire of the collecting body SACEM.

The Court indeed considered that even though the clients of the hotel occupy individual rooms, they constitute the public according to the meaning of Section L.122-2 of the French Intellectual Property Code, as construed in the light of the 2001/29/CE Directive (on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the Information Society). The hotel that made television available to its clients enabling them to view television programmes, engaged in an act of communication of the works to the public subject to the authorisation of the authors, and was therefore obliged to pay the fees relating to the broadcasting.