The Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) sued a local cable television. The dispute concerned unpaid royalties, because this local TV rebroadcasted movies without a proper agreement with the Collecting Society. SFP is the only of such collection societies in Poland responsible for the management for movies and TV series. The court ordered the TV station to cease rebroadcasting, and ordered to pay compensation equivalent to triple rates of remuneration. The TV station argued that the calculation of damages was based on rates that are not market prices, since they have benn negotiated and established by the only organization on the market. The case went to the final instance.
The Supreme Court in its judgment of 15 June 2011 case file V CSK 373/10 held that a court cannot prohibit rebroadcasting of TV programs, if it was a part of the activity of a cable television, even if rebroadcasting was made without the consent of the collecting society. If the parties argue about rates for rebroadcasting, the court shall appoint a witness expert, because the rates that are used by the collecting societies for rebroadcasting are not market rates by definition, because they were adopted by one organization. Moreover, the Court ruled that the claim for payment of double of the respective remuneration as provided in Article 79(1) pt. 3 letter b of the ARNR, is a special way of protecting author’s economic rights. It has the compensatory nature, and it’s not required to demonstrate evidence of the culpability of the person who used copyrighted work without the required permit, the damage that was suffered by the rightholder and benefits that were acquired by the infringer, during the suit.