New referral to the CJEU – Hotel-TV included in the ‘payment of an entrance fee’ ?

by Axel P Ringelhann

C-641/15 – Verwertungsgesellschaft Rundfunk (VGR) is yet another case before the CJEU concerning communication to the public. As can be inferred form the question referred to the CJEU it appears that VGR, the Austrian collecting society managing rights for broadcasting organizations, took legal action against an operator of a hotel for infringement of its broadcasting right.

On 2 December 2015, the Vienna Commercial Court (Austria) lodged a request for a preliminary ruling with the CJEU concerning the interpretation of Article 8(3) of Directive 2006/115/EC [of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property].

The referring court wants to know whether the condition of ‘payment of an entrance fee’ within the meaning of Article 8(3) Rental and lending Directive is satisfied if

  • separate hotel rooms are equipped with TV-sets and the hotel management distributes the signal of TV and radio programs capable of being seen or heard by means of these apparatus (‘hotel room TV’), and

 

  • the hotel management charges payment for rooms per night (‘room price’), which also includes the use of a TV-set and TV and radio programs capable of being seen or heard by means of these apparatus.