• Ban On Retransmitting Television Programmes by Broadcasting Companies
  • April 8, 2013 | Author: Michael Rainer
  • Law Firm: GRP Rainer LLP - Cologne Office
  • The retransmission of television programmes of broadcasting companies over the internet by other companies can be prohibited by a broadcasting company.

    GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Hanover, Bremen, Nuremberg, Essen and London www.grprainer.com/en  explain: In its judgment of 7 March 2013 (Az.: C-607/11), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that broadcasters ought to be able to prohibit the retransmission of their programmes through live streaming over the internet. In the view of the ECJ, retransmission potentially concerns a communication to the public of protected works which require the permission of the creator. The permission of the creator is particularly important even if the persons using the live streaming service possess a TV license which also allows them to watch the programmes on the television.

    The ECJ had to come to a decision in a case in which several British commercial broadcasting companies wanted to take action against the dissemination of their television programmes over the internet due to a breach of their intellectual property rights pertaining to the programmes. The national court referred the question to the ECJ as to whether the communication of programmes over the internet constitutes communication to the public in terms of the Information Society Directive.

    The ECJ decided that the communication of programmes through a live stream service constitutes a communication to the public. The definition of public requires that an indefinite number of addressees and a large number of persons are addressed.

    Where a work is subject to repeated use, each programme or retransmission must be individually permitted by the creator of the respective work.

    Media law encompasses the areas of private and public information, as well as communication. It can also be divided into intellectual property law, telecommunication law and broadcasting law.

    The aim of media law is to ensure a diversity of opinions and protect intellectual property. The rapid development of media law leads to the legislature not keeping up with its guidelines. The legal uncertainty that emerges from this leads to problems, especially for media companies, which require legal advice on a case-by-case basis. A lawyer can preventively examine a case in order to avoid problems.