Friday, 15 July 2011

Yee-haa! Payment of royalties

Brazil, the Fourth Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) decided that there may be collecting royalties for public performance of music in rodeo, even if promoted by city hall with no economic benefit.

Background
The Central Bureau of Collection and Distribution (ECAD) filed a charge against the the city of Cesario , in São Paulo arguing that the city has promoted musical events called ‘Rodeo Country Fest’ performing musical works without the corresponding authorization and/or licenses. ECAD asked for the condemnation of the municipality to pay R$ 8,625.65 (value of assets not collected) plus a fine.

The Trial Court ordered the municipality to pay R$ 23,073. The Court of Justice of São Paulo (TJSP) amended the sentence, arguing that the collection of copyright is inappropriate, since there was no economic benefit, and that the political benefits arising from the event should not be confused with economic ones. ECAD appealed to the Supreme Court.

Superior Court of Justice (STJ)
The rapporteur of the appeal, Minister Luis Felipe Solomon, said that case law under Law No 5.988/1973 states that the existence of profit is essential to the impact of property rights. However, under the current Law 9.610/1998, there have been significant changes, including the point under discussion – economic benefit. He said that the Supreme Court has recognized in its jurisprudence, the feasibility of collecting royalties also in cases in which the public performance of copyrighted work is not done with gainful intent.

The decision was unanimous and the sentence was restored - city of Cesario Lange to pay R$ 23,073.

Legal process REsp 996852 found here.

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