Conjuring Away Gratuity in the Public Libraries
Last thursday the European Court of Justice issued its decision in the Commission’s case against Ireland regarding the transposition of Directive 92/100/EEC of 19 November 1992 on rental right and lending right. Irish law exempted public, educational and academic institutions to which members of the public have access, from having to pay remuneration to copyright owners. The Irish based their defence on the derogation set out in Article 5(3), allowing exemptions of certain categores of lending establisjments based on the needs for national cultural policies.
Alas, the ECJ gave short shrift to the article, insisting the effect of the law as transposed was to deny authors exactly the remuneration the Directive was intended to provide. The result of course is that the public will have to cough up and pay the collecting societies out of the tax-kitty, even if the pain will pass unperceived as it will be a matter for the The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the County/City Councils who run the library system.
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