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Performers’ collective management organisation had limited role in collecting and distributing remuneration for playing of music in public

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Court of Appeal, on appeal from the High Court, in a dispute between a collective management organisation (CMO) acting on behalf of performers of music and a CMO acting on behalf of producers concerning the collection of monies for the public performance of recorded music, determines: (a) that the performers' CMO was only entitled to receive 'equitable remuneration' on behalf of performers who had authorised the CMO to manage their rights, and that the CMO had no role in respect of performers who it did not represent; (b) that, where performers were not represented and were not actively managing their rights, the producers' CMO should retain the sums due to them, subject to referral of issues to the statutory Controller of Intellectual Property; and (c) that the performers' CMO had an obligation to set out a distribution scheme and determine the amount of equitable remuneration payable to each individual performer in accordance with that scheme.

Costello J (nem diss): Appeal from preliminary legal issues - which of two bodies had the statutory obligation to determine payments to be made to performers - s. 208(1) of the Copyright & Related Rights Act, 2000 - whether performers' body was entitled to receive all remuneration payable to the producers' body arising from the playing in public of recordings of their performances - distribution of licence fees payable in respect of playing of sound recordings in public - sharing of licence fees between performers and producers - Directive 92/100/EEC - obligation on member states to provide performers with means to authorise broadcasting of public performance - implementation of directive - collecting society - definition of 'collecting society' - definition of 'licensing body' - registration of licensing bodies - Collective Rights Management Directive 2014/26/EU - transposition of directive into Irish law - functions of a collecting society - to collect equitable remuneration payable to a qualifying performer - negotiation of division of remuneration - whether performers' body had right to determine amounts payable to individual performers - calculation of payments to individual performers - whether exclusive right of producers' body to collect, calculate and distribute equitable remuneration to performers and producers was anti-competitive - collective management of performers' rights - whether performers' body was deemed to represent all performers.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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