Collective Rights Management: EU Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice and closes eight cases

Source: EU Commission

Brussels, 25 January 2018
The European Commission decided today to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to notify complete transposition (partial non-transposition) of EU rules on collective management of copyright and related rights, and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use (Directive 2014/26/EU) into national law. The Commission is calling on the Court to impose financial penalty to Poland - € 87 612.00 per day. Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 10 April 2016.
Moreover, the Commission has decided to close the so-called "lack of notification" infringement cases against eight countries: Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Latvia and Portugal, which were opened for failure to notify to the Commission the national measures transposing the Collective Rights Management Directive in national law. These cases related to the lack of implementing measures and not to the substance of national implementing laws, on which the Commission did not take a position. The eight Member States have now informed the Commission that the necessary legislation has been adopted to fully transpose the Directive into national legislation.
The Collective Rights Management Directive 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.
Next steps
In case the transposition remains incomplete and the Court of Justice of the EU confirms the Commission's view, the daily penalty would have to be paid from the date of the judgment or a later date set by the Court until the transposition is complete. The final amount of the daily penalty will be decided by the Court, but this cannot exceed the Commission's proposal.
The Collective Rights Management Directive (Directive 2014/26/EU) was adopted on 26 February 2014.
The Commission opened the EU infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Poland in May 2016. As the Commission did not receive a notification of transposition by the Polish authorities, it then sent a reasoned opinion 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, Poland has failed to fulfil its transposition obligations under Article 43 ('Transposition') of this Directive.
In practice, under Article 260(3) of Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) if a Member State fails to transpose an EU Directive into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions. The penalties take into account the seriousness and duration of the infringement.
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