CJEU: Satellite package provider only needs to obtain authorization in member state where signals are introduced into the chain of communication27-10-2023 Print this page
Consent by holders of copyright and related rights is required to be obtained only in the Member State in which the program-carrying signals are introduced into the communication chain running to the satellite. Such communication to the public by satellite is deemed to take place only in the Member State in which the program-carrying signals are introduced into the communication chain running to the satellite. It would be contrary to the objective of Directive 93/98 for a satellite package provider to have to obtain consent from the relevant holders of copyright and related rights in other Member States as well.
The questions referred for a preliminary ruling:
‘(1) Is Article 1(2)(b) of [Directive 93/83] to be interpreted as meaning that not only the broadcasting organisation, but also a satellite package provider intervening in the indivisible and single act of broadcasting, carries out an act of exploitation – which in any case requires consent – simply in the State where, under the control and responsibility of the broadcasting organisation, the programme-carrying signals are introduced into an uninterrupted chain of communication leading to the satellite and down towards the earth, with the result that the intervention of the satellite package provider in the act of broadcasting is not liable to infringe copyright in the receiving State.
(2) If Question 1 is answered in the negative:
is the concept of “communication to the public” set out in Article 1(2)(a) and (c) of [Directive 93/83] and in Article 3(1) of [Directive 2001/29] to be interpreted as meaning that the satellite package provider, which intervenes as another operator during a communication to the public by satellite, bundles several encrypted high-definition signals of free-to-air and pay-TV programmes and offers the independent audiovisual product created in this way to its customers in return for payment, requires separate authorisation from the right holder concerned even in respect of the protected content in the free-to-air TV programmes contained in the package of programmes, although in this respect it is merely providing its customers with access to works which are already freely accessible – albeit in poorer standard-definition quality – to everyone in the broadcasting area?’
Answers to the preliminary questions:
Article 1(2)(b) of Council Directive 93/83/EEC of 27 September 1993 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission must be interpreted as meaning that, where a satellite package provider is required to obtain, for the communication to the public by satellite in which it participates, the authorisation of the holders of the copyright and related rights concerned, that authorisation must be obtained, such as that granted to the broadcasting organisation concerned, only in the Member State in which the programme-carrying signals are introduced into the chain of communication leading to the satellite.