The European Parliament has adopted the Directive on the collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of authors' rights in musical works to online services providers.

The Directive lays down general requirements, applicable to all collecting societies in the EU, which are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the management of copyright and related rights, relating to areas such as membership and organisation, management of revenue, and transparency and reporting. More specifically, the Directive also sets out the requirements that collecting societies established in the EU must fulfil specifically when granting multi-territorial licences of authors' rights in musical works to online services providers.

The Directive must also be formally adopted by the EU Council before it comes into force, and this is expected in the next few weeks. Once adopted, the deadline for implementation by Member States will be 2016.

The UK has in the meantime pressed ahead with the draft Copyright (Regulation of Relevant Licensing Bodies) Regulations which would give the government a backstop power to direct collecting societies to implement a code of conduct should their self-regulation not meet the required minimum standards, and has indicated that any necessary changes will be made to the UK Regulations once the EU Directive is adopted.

Our previous alert on the provisions of the Directive can be seen here.

AG opinion on scope of private copying exception

In Case C-435/12 ACI Adam, Advocate-General Cruz Villalón has issued an opinion stating that the private copying exception within Art. 5(2)(b) of the Information Society Directive (2001/29) only applies to reproductions of works or other subject matter from legitimate sources, and not to copies made from illegal sources.

The case, which was a reference from the Netherlands, concerned the assessment of private copying levies under Dutch law.

The opinion is not currently available in English.