EU Advocate General Sharpston: Services Directive does not apply to CMOs

In Case C-351/12 Ochranný svaz autorský pro práva k dílům hudebním, o.s. (OSA) v Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně a. s., CJEU Advocate General (AG) Eleanor Sharpston delivered her Opinion on 14 November 2013.

In AG Sharpston's opinion, Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) provide services, but do not fall under the EU Directive 2006/123 on services in the internal market (“Services Directive”) as their services need to be regarded as services of “general economic interest” (Article 17(1) of the Services Directive). In any case, CMOs and their services should fall within the field of copyright and neighbouring rights, listed in Article 17(11) of the Services Directive.

Also, in her view, an EU Member State can reserve the exercise of collective rights management to a single CMO. Although this creates a territorial monopoly, which deprives recipients of services of the freedom to choose a CMO in another Member State, this is neither a violation of the freedom to provide services nor does it violate Article 102 TFEU (abuse of a dominant position).