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EC sues Romania, other three EU states on the collective management of copyright issue

The European Commission announced on Thursday that it is to refer Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to notify complete transposition of EU rules on collective management of copyright and related rights, and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use into national law as foreseen by 10 April 2016 Collective Rights Management Directive, Directive 2014/26/EU.

The Commission is calling on the Court to impose financial penalties on those 4 Member States (Bulgaria – EUR 19 121,60 per day, Luxembourg – EUR 12 920,00 per day, Romania – EUR 42 377,60 per day and Spain – EUR 123 928,64 per day). The infringement proceedings were opened against those countries in May 2016. To date, these Member States have not yet notified the Commission of taking the necessary steps to transpose the Directive into national law.

In a separate infringement case involving Romania, the Commission has also decided to send a letter of formal notice over the implementation of the mandatory collective management system of musical works in May 2016. The Commission considers that the Romanian law fails to comply with the Directive on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society and CRM Directive.

The Collective Rights Management Directive, adopted in February 2014, aims at improving the way all collective management organisations are managed by establishing common governance, transparency and financial management standards. It also sets common standards for the multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market. The Directive is an essential part of Europe’s copyright legislation. All collective management organisations have to improve their standards on governance and transparency.

The deadline for its transposition into national law was 10 April 2016.

The letters of formal notice, which were a formal request of the Commission to fully implement the Directive and the first step in the infringement procedure, were sent to those 4 Member States in May 2016. As the Commission did not receive a notification of transposition, it sent reasoned opinions to the four countries in February 2017.

By failing to adopt all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Collective Rights Management Directive or, in any event, by failing to notify such provisions to the Commission by 10 April 2016, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain have failed to fulfil their transposition obligations under Article 43 of this Directive.


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