Law on Copyright and Related Rights, as indicated by its title, provides multiple types of intellectual property: copyrights granted to creators of works (eg. photographers, painters, writers) and related rights entitled to other entities (eg. songs performers, who are not their authors or radio and television organizations broadcasting content consisting of copyrighted creations). Television signal broadcasting as a whole, without changes or modifications by entities other than the original broadcaster by commercial entitles such as CATV/IPTV operators, hotels, motels, resorts, bars, restaurants, fitness clubs, etc. receiving and transmitting TV signals to residential homes, guest rooms, public locations is called retransmission (rebroadcast) and requires the consent of the copyright holder or its authorized representative.
In most countries broadcasters’ rights are protected by Copyright Acts or Neighboring Rights Acts. In Poland as an example broadcasters’ rights are protected under the Law on Copyright and Related Rights dated 4th of February 1994 (as amended, and in particular art. 97 and 99) and EU legislation. In addition most countries like Poland are signatory to the Rome Convention of October 26th, 1961 on the protection of artists, performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations, or as well Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights dated April 15th, 1994. These laws protect the rights of broadcasting organizations.
The Copyright law states: “radio or television broadcasting organizations shall have the exclusive right to manage and use their broadcast program within the scope of: point 4. rebroadcast “. The broadcasters represented by Media Management Europe do require commercial entities to have consent to retransmit their signals. By retransmitting the signal(s) at commercial entities or by cable operator to its subscribers, raises the standard, quality and value of the object; thus, is an element of business strategy serving to multiplying revenue.
In addition, it should be emphasized even when the signal is received from a satellite in the FTA mode (Free To Air, without encryption), it does not mean the signal may be retransmitted without any charges and the consent of the broadcaster.
Agreements granting permission for retransmission do not automatically include or exempt other Collecting Societies to act separately to protect the copyright of other rights holders of intellectual property such as music.
Rebroadcast without the proper permission constitutes a violation of the broadcaster’s rights under Copyright laws, thus opening the entity to possible legal actions the broadcaster(s) and/or their authorized representative may wish to purse to protect their rights. The legal consequences are civilian (the obligation to pay compensation of multiple times the value of the loss suffered by the broadcaster) and in some cases criminal penalties up to and including possible imprisonment. In order to be in compliance with the law, it is necessary prior to retransmission to conclude an agreement granting such permission(s) through the representative of the Broadcasters such as Media Management Europe.
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