COPYRIGHT | Advocate General Szpunar (again) on the right of communication to the public

On 22 February 2024, Advocate General Szpunar (the “AG”) issued his final conclusions on Case C‑135/23 (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte eV (GEMA) v GL). The Case concerned whether the operator of a rental apartment building who installs TV sets with indoor antennas should pay a licence fee to a collecting society. The AG is of the opinion that they should, unless tenants establish their principal or secondary residence there. The AG’s analysis emphasises the importance of balancing rights and maintaining consistency in EU law. He argues that the operator’s action constitutes a communication to the public, akin to a hotel providing TVs to guests. Short- or long-term rentals matter in determining whether tenants form a “new public”. While the interpretation of recital 27 remains obscure, the AG’s approach focuses on the functional outcome, rather than on technicalities. Overall, the CJEU’s decision is likely to align with Szpunar’s recommendation.

Newsletter n. 94 – March 2024