European Commission confirms validity of exclusive broadcasting rights agreements
By Stephen Hornsby
In its Green Paper entitled ‘Preparing for a fully converged audio visual world’ published in the spring of this year, the Commission gave its gloss on the famous FAPL judgment of the European Court of Justice (Judgment of 4 October 2011). The Court’s judgment had cast doubt on the validity of exclusive broadcasting agreements on the basis that remuneration in the form of an exclusivity premium wasn’t a legitimate exercise of rights and that the remuneration for the licence holder had to be reasonable in relation to the economic value of the service provided.
Naturally this statement was one that caused intellectual property lawyers considerable concern because it would seem to make the enforceability of exclusive broadcasting agreements depend upon price assessments. However, there were other sections in the judgment which did not deny the potential existence of intellectual rights property protection for exclusive agreements even where different prices are charged. This naturally caused confusion.
The conflict between these two sections of the judgment would appear to have been reduced by the statement in the Green Paper that ‘EU Competition Law does not preclude a right holder from granting to a single or licensee exclusive broadcasting rights over a sporting event in one or more member states’. The Commission then went on to say that rights holders cannot prohibit the exclusive licensee from effecting any cross-border provision of services that relate to the broadcasting of such an event. This is in line with long-standing authority prohibiting export bans — in this case the ban on the sale of decoder cards by the licensee which would facilitate the re-transmission of English football matches in pubs where such matches were only licensed for broadcast in Greece…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Goodman Derrick briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Goodman Derrick
Briefings from Goodman Derrick
The extent to which hirers have to provide the ‘same opportunity’ was the subject of the case Coles v Ministry of Defence.
Some pointers on dealing with payments of tips and gratuities in the restaurant industry from an employment law perspective.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Active financial management is vital, but with firms looking more closely at the process of debt and fee collection, the personal touch still counts
The lure of the law can kick in at any stage of life. We speak to four individuals who have made a radical switch to a legal career