copyright data update of hotel conflicting in collective
SGAE Signs Record Agreement with Hotel Sector
Spanish society SGAE is celebrating its agreement with representatives of the country's hotel sector, who have agreed to a series of rules and regulations governing the latter's use of the SGAE repertoire. The contract, which is the result of two months of negotiations with ZONTUR and FEH, took effect July 1st and is valid through December 31, 2008. It covers 95% of Spain's hotel sector and roughly 6,000 individual establishments. Under the agreement, hotels pay a single tariff based on such factors as the hotel's category type and degree of repertoire use, as well as royalties applicable to the use of on-demand videos or pay-per-view. The agreement also includes the use of works during special hotel functions such as weddings, receptions.
The agreement marks quite an accomplishment for the Spanish society: just two months ago a judge ruled that hotel rooms could be considered private spaces, and thus were exempt from royalty payments involving the use of music or TV.
ECJ:Hotel Rooms are Public
The European court of Justice clarified the answer to this question in December 2006 when it delivered a favourable judgement to SGAE in its case against the Spanish hotel group Rafael Hoteles SA. The ECJ ruled that the use of television sets and the playing of ambient music within the hotels premises constituted acts of public communication, and therefore the hotels must pay royalties to SGAE.
The decision covered common areas of the hotel as well as guest rooms, which contradicts legislation in numerous other countries around the world that has defined guest rooms as a place of private residence and therefore not subjects to public performance royalties. This important precedent is a major step towards achieving strong legal protection for authors in the hospitality industry and reaffirms their right to receive adequate strong compensation for the use of their works.
The ruling will certainly have repercussion in the Czech Republic as their recently amended Copyright Law contains an exception that allows hotel guests to listen to music and view films in hotel rooms even though the hotel is not required to compensate creators or publishers. CISAC ,in collaboration with GESAC and CIEM, has been pushing for the removal of this clause since its promulgation in February 2005 and will refer to the ECJ decision to strengthen its case.
The public/private debate is a major issue for rights holders on every continent. It touches on many other grey areas that authors societies must address with regards to hotel operators such as cable transmission, pay channels, or the use of copyright works by third parties in hotel conference rooms or separately-owned business (restaurant, clubs) located on hotel premises.
Pornchai Sirinukulchol 28/5/50
CISAC Expresses Concern over Reform of Spanish Intellectual Property Law to Minister of Culture
In the name of the 210 authors' societies in 109 countries and 2.5 million creators it represents, CISAC expressed its concern to the Spanish Minister of Culture, Mrs Doña Carmen Calvo Poyato, over the reform of the Intellectual Property Law in Spain. Certain amendments to the Bill on Intellectual Property, which is currently before the Upper Chamber of the Spanish Parliament after having been approved by the House of Representatives, constitute a real threat to authors' rights as established by the Spanish IP Law currently in effect. In addition, the reform would be a radical u-turn in current Spanish cultural policy. The consequences of these amendments would be: (1) increased vulnerability of audiovisual creators, (2) inadequate remuneration for authors for the private copying of their works, and (3) arbitrary tariff setting by the Government for authors' rights in the event of a disagreement with a third party.
Far from protecting the interests of authors and artists, the reform risks fragmenting rights and generating conflicts between authors and users of creative works. If approved in its present form, the legislation would mean a loss for authors' economic rights estimated by the Spanish authors' society SGAE at over 80 million Euros per year. CISAC urges that the amendments be rejected and that a solution is found whereby creators' rights are fully restored
CISAC is most concerned with one amendment to the Bill which discriminates against audiovisual authors (directors, scriptwriters and music composers) by eliminating remuneration for the on-line exploitation of their works while establishing such right for actors and performers. Such an amendment would be contrary to international treaties to which Spain is a party, in particular the Berne Convention.
With regard to private copying, the current wording of the Bill provides for remuneration to apply only to copies made from "a source lawfully acquired for private use". This phrasing would NOT protect or remunerate authors for the private copying of their works as it would exclude, inter alia, remuneration for copies made from TV and radio broadcasts and electronic files Finally, an additional provision to the Bill empowers the Government to create an Intellectual Property commission with authority to set the tariff when those using copyright works refuse to pay at the rate set by the authors' society. This would open the door to arbitrary tariff and reduce authors' rights to being treated as mere merchandise
Pornchai Sirinukulchol 18/05/06
Creators Address the European Commission to Defend their Rights
CIAM - International Council of Authors and Composers of Music
Brussels - 23 February, 2006 A delegation of six prominent songwriters and music composers met with Commissioner McCreevy, on February 21st, to share their views on the future of authors' rights and collective management in the digital environment. Creators fear that the recent European Commission's initiatives (i.e. the Recommendation on cross-border licensing issued in October 2005 and the recently published Statement of Objections) may undermine cultural diversity and their longstanding and effective relationship with authors' societies. In the spirit of Jacques Delors' words "culture is not a commodity", Commissioner McCreevy reassured creators that the European Commission does not intend to limit or denigrate authors' rights. Creators are now committed to continue the dialogue with the Commission to adopt the best online licensing scheme.
"For the very first time authors of music were given a chance to address the European Commission with issues that primarily affect them and to present the case for the protection of authors' rights in the online environment," said Pia Raug Danish songwriter, composer, singer and musician. "Disrupting the efficient authors' rights system that has cultivated the richness and diversity of European culture for 200 years in the digital environment would have devastating economical, political and cultural consequences
Pornchai Sirinukulchol 26/5/50
Private copying: rightholders greet the European Commission's decision to give time for reflection
Brussels / London / Paris, 19 December 2006
Private copying: rightholders greet the European Commission's decision to give time for reflection
On Thursday, 14 December the Commission confirmed its decision to defer the adoption of a draft recommendation on private copying.
On behalf of the artistic and creative community and the content industry, the "Culture first!" Coalition expresses its relief and appreciates the soundness of the Commission's option not to adopt hastily a recommendation that would have jeopardized current remuneration systems for private copying.
We salute the Commission's determination to address intellectual property and cultural issues with all appropriate consideration and proper debates, as also appears in the EU prompt ratification of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity.
We recognize its independence of action towards hard pushing industries that praised the pure and simple substitution of current systems by lockers - the so called 'technical protection measures', which efficiency remains questionable - to be put on every music, film or other creative content with the aim of preventing users from making copies of them.
Remuneration for private copying entails no significant extra costs for the hardware industry that markets copy-enabling equipment or media and makes high profits from these sales. Crucially, in exchange of a legitimate top-up to the income of rightholders, it enables consumers to make copies for their private use.
It is currently the only mechanism that allows the creative sector to be compensated for the widespread copying of their works for domestic use.
The "Culture First!" Coalition*
* The "Culture First!" Coalition groups 15 organisations of different categories of rights holders including authors, performers, actors, journalists, music publishers and record and audiovisual producers.
Association of European Performers' Organisations
Contact: Xavier Blanc, General Secretary
Italian Association of Phonographic Producers
Contact: Massimo Baldinato, Regulatory and Public Affairs Manager
Bureau International des Sociétés gérant les Droits d'Enregistrement et de Reproduction Mécanique
Contact: Ronald Mooij, Secretary General
International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers
Contact: Eric Baptiste, Director General
Association de Producteurs de Cinéma et de Télévision
Contact: Yvon Thiec, Délégué Général
European Federation of Joint Management Societies of Producers for Private Audiovisual Copying
Contact: Nicole La Bouverie, Head of Delegation
European Group of the International Federation of Actors
Contact: Dominick Luquer, General Secretary
European Visual Artists
Contact: Carola Streul, Secretary General
Federation of European Film Directors
Contact: Cécile Despringre, CEO
Federation of Scriptwriters in Europe
Contact: Pyrrhus Mercouris, Manager
International Federation of Musicians
Contact: Benoît Machuel, General Secretary
European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers
Contact: Véronique Desbrosses, Secretary General
The International Organisation of Performing Artists
Contact: Francesca Greco, Managing Director
European Federation of Journalists/
International Federation of Journalists
Contact: Céline Simonin, Authors' Rights Assistant
The Independant Music Companies Association
Contact: Patrick Zelnik, President
Pornchai sirinukulchol 31/5/50 over sea data
Shanghai Hotels to Pay Royalties for Background Music
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The Music Copyright Society of China has reached a deal with 14 Four-and five-star hotels in Shanghai in charging royalties for the music they play, which is for commercial rather than home entertainment purpose, said Fang Fang,an official with the societys Shanghai bureau on Friday.
Well sign the the same agreement with all the 60 four-and five-star hotels in the city by the end of this year, she said. Acocording to Fang, royalties for the background music will be charged at 2.8 yuan(US$0.34)per hotel room each month. The price has been agreed upon between her organization and the hoteling division of Shanghai Tourism Association,in line with relevant regulations set by the Nationnal Copyright Administration. A hotel with 439 guest rooms,for example, would have to pay about 1,300 yuan(US$157)of royalties each month,she explained.
Bachground music has been played for free at Chinese hotels and restaurants for mant years. Acknowledged Fang. Its not that their management are reluctant to pay royaltiesmost of them have no idea at all that theyve got to pay. As a result,Fang said mang hotel had denounced her organization as collecting unreasonable,even illegal fees. We have to step up with publicity work to increase the public awareness of intelligent property rights.
It was in compliance with chainas copyright law to charge royalties for playing musical works in public facilities,said Prof.Jiang Po with xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Shanghai Universitys school of law.Its infringement of copyright to play othersmusic for commercial purposes without their assent.and hotels and other public facilities can be brought to the court for that. Fand said her organization would distribute the royalties they were to collect to music makers,according to cheklists the hotels would submit to detail the actual pieces they played.
Chaina Music Copyright Society is a non-profit-making body dedicated to protect the legitimate rights of music makers. Founded in December 1992, it was cosponsored by National Copyright Administration and China Society of Musicians. In recent years, music companies have won several lawsuit against karaoke bars in China, and last year on case in Beijing resulted in the karaoke bar being ordered to pay about 10,000 yuan (some US$1,205) for illegally using three MTV works.
In March this year, two Beijing-based law firms were entrusted by 49 music companies to claim damages from karaoke bars that were found to be using their musical works without permission.
Fifteen Chinese music companies and 34 overseas music companies joined the campaign,including Time Warner, Universal, Sony and EMI, to claim compensation from karaoke bars in more than 20 provinces, involving anywhere from about 8,000 to 10,000 musical works.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19,2004)