The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on 21 April in Austro-Mechana v Amazon (case C-572/14) that the entity in charge of collecting the fair compensation stemming from a private copying exception (as provided in Article 5(2)(b) of the EU Copyright Directive) can claim missing payments in the Member State where those have arisen – meaning, in short, that a CMO in charge of collecting private copying levies can start proceedings for failure to pay in the Member State where the recording media or devices have been placed on the market.
Indeed, the Court of Justice argued that a claim for missing payments of the fair compensation under Article 5(2)(b) should be considered as a “tort, delict or quasi-delict”, in which case a special jurisdictional rule can apply, according to which the claim can be brought before the courts of the Member State where the harmful event happened:
“in matters relating to tort, delict and quasi-delict, the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred are usually the most appropriate for deciding the case, in particular on the grounds of proximity and ease of taking evidence” (point 31).
The CJEU therefore upholds the action of Austro-Mechana, an Austrian collective management organisation, to initiate legal proceedings for the payment of fair remuneration from Amazon before Austrian courts.
Find the full decision here.