The Polish Constitutional Tribunal in its judgment of 23 June 2015 case file SK 32/14 ruled on the unconstitutionality of Article 79(1)(3)(b) of the ARNR that provided treble licence fee for culpable infringement. The Tribunal held that this provision violated the right of ownership and the principle of equality under the law, by disproportionately burdening copyright infringer in relation to infringers of other rights.
Archive for: remuneration fee
The provision of the Rules of the Municipal Public Library in Słupsk stated that the Library may allow for reproductions or digital reproductions of one publishing volume sheet, which is approx. 22 pages of A4 format, of any documents protected by copyright law that are in the collection of the Library. However, such rules are contrary to the provisions of Article 23 of the Polish Act of 4 February 1994 on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631, with subsequent amendments.
Lawful Use of Protected Works
Art. 23.-1. It shall be permissible, without the consent of the creator, to make use free of charge, of a work that has already been disclosed. However, this provision shall not authorize the construction of a building based on an architectural work or a work of urban architecture made by another person.
2. Personal use shall extend to use within a circle of persons who are personally related, in particular by blood or marriage, or who entertain social relations.
The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in its judgment of 9 December 2011 case file XVII AmC 113/11 held that such rule is prohibited and deemed as a wrongful contractual provision, as defined in the Article 3851 § 1 of the Civil Code – CC – (in Polish: Kodeks Cywilny) of 23 April 1964, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 16, item 93, with subsequent amendments.
Article 3851. § 1. Provisions of a contract concluded with a consumer, which have not been individually agreed with him, shall not be binding thereupon, if his rights and duties have been stipulated in conflict with public decency and in flagrant violation of his interest (wrongful contractual provisions). This shall not relate to the provisions which specify basic performances of the parties, including the price and remuneration if determined explicitly.
§ 2. Where the provision referred to in paragraph 1 is not binding upon the consumer, the parties shall be bound by the remaining provisions of the contract.
§ 3. The provisions not agreed individually shall be such provisions of the contract over which the consumer had no actual influence. It shall concern, in particular, the provisions of the contract taken over from the model form of contract offered to a consumer by a contracting party.
§ 4. The burden of evidence to prove that the provision has been agreed individually shall be borne by the party who claims so.
The Court held that the Library cannot decide on limits of copying of any of the library collections. Copying books without limitation of the maximum number of pages is legally permissible. The provisions of the ARNR do not indicate any limits. Such a judgment come as no surprise, because every person who is in possession of any reprographic devices and conducts economic activities within the scope of reproduction of works for the personal use of third parties, is according to the provisons of article 201 of the ARNR obliged to pay, through a Collection Society, fees at up to 3% of proceeds generated from such activities, to authors and publishers, unless the reproduction is done on the basis of a contract signed with a rightholder. Such fees are paid to authors and publishers in equal parts.
The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 9 September 2011 case file I FSK 1215/10 ruled that activities of the Polish Artists’ Association, a collecting society which is responsible for collective management of artists’ and performers’ rights that is based on signing of licensing agreements with copyright users and collecting and distribution of royalties, is deemed as a service within the meaning of the Act on Goods and Services Tax – GSTA – (in Polish: ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług) of 11 March 2004, Journal od Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 54, item 535 with subsequent amendments, and such services are not subject to tax exemptions, because the association charges a fee from these activities, and it is not funded by membership fees.
The Supreme Court in its order of 13 July 2010 case file III CZP 1/10 held that operators of cable networks may initiate court’s proceedings with regard agreements on remuneration scales/tables concluded or to be concluded with the competent organization for collective management of copyright, that concerns rebroadcasting of copyrighted works on radio and television programs, only after the exhaustion of the proceedings before the Copyright Commission. The issue of the inadmissibility of the courts’ proceedings was very unclear lately bacuse there was divergent case law of the Supreme Court and legal comentators presented different opinions and views. See “Copyright law, case IV CSK 303/06” and “Copyright law, case III CZP 107/07“.
The Copyright Commission, with a composition of three persons, two of them designated by the parties from among the arbitrators and the third co-opted as referee by the other two, shall settle disputes concerning the application of the scales referred to in article 211 of the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych) of 4 February 1994, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 90, item 631.
1. Cable network operators may rebroadcast on cable, works that are broadcasted on radio and television organization solely on the basis of an agreement with the competent organization for collective management of copyright.
2. In case of any disputes regarding the conclusion of the agreement referred to in paragraph 1, the provisions of article 108(5) shall apply.
If one of the parties does not designate an arbitrator or if the arbitrators do not designate a referee, the arbitrator or referee in question shall be designated by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The party that is not satisfied with the decision of the Copyright Commission may, within a period of 14 days of the notification of the said decision, bring a judicial action before the competent district court.
The Supreme Court in its order of 6 December 2007 case file III CZP 107/07 held that a party who is not satisfied with the decision of the Copyright Commission, may bring a judicial action before the competent district court, within a period of 14 days of the notification of the said decision, only after the conclusion of the proceedings before the Copyright Commission. It is known as the so-called inadmissibility of the courts’ proceedings.
The Supreme Court in its judgment of 3 January 2007 case file IV CSK 303/06 ruled that the Copyright Commision should also resolve disputes relating to the conditions of agreement between a cable operator and the collecting society on the use of copyrighted works or performances. This conditions are inter alia the method of calculation and the amount of remuneration. The Court broadly interpreted the term “dispute about the conclusion of the agreement”. The SC held that the so-called inadmissibility of the courts’ proceedings appears only if a party or both parties (a cable operator and the collecting society) will request the Copyright Commission to decide on the agreement.
The Constitutional Tribunal in its judgment of 21 November 2005 case file P 10/03 held that the approval or denial of approval of the remuneration scales (remuneration tables/fees) for the exploitation of collectively managed works or artistic performances, by the Copyright Commission, is a decision within the meaning of the Code of Administrative Proceedings. This decision is a individual decision, addressed to a particular entity, i.e., in the case of a particular organization for collective management of copyright, which submitted the remuneration scales for approval. The Tribunal ruled that even such a decision is addressed to an individual, the remuneration scales (tables) contain general and abstract norms that may be applied to contracts that are conducted between a collecting society and a party interested in being a licensee of managed works.