The private copy exception also covers the cloud. Rightholders must therefore be compensated for the private copying levy they receive. Here it is in two sentences, summary judgment pronounced yesterday by the European justice system. Immersed in his guts, with obvious serious consequences.
The decision is part of the Austrian showdown between Austro-Mechana and Strato AG. The first is a collecting society. The second, a cloud service provider that, like others, offers its customers online storage space.
Since protected works can be included in these clouds, the Austrian SACEM demanded payment of the private copying levy from this cloud player. In the other camp, total refusal from Strato who believes the cloud is outside the perimeter.
It suited him well because on February 25, 2020, the Commercial Court of Vienna rejected the collecting society’s claims on the grounds that Strato, the service provider, does not sell a medium, but offers an online storage service.
However, the nuance failed to convince the Court of Appeal, which with doubts preferred the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Why this intervention by the CJEU? Simply because the private copying levy is an institution under European law, in particular 2001 directive on copyright and related rights in the information society.
Article 5, 2 b) in fact opens up the possibility for Member States to provide for this exception to the copyright monopoly.
In such a framework, if the monopoly requires authorization to be obtained before copying protected content, the exception allows individuals to freely duplicate the same content. Copying for private use therefore includes all “ reproductions [d’œuvres] performed on any medium by a natural person for private use and for purposes that are not directly or indirectly commercial †
And still in the Member States that recognize this exception, rightholders must be compensated. For this they get fair compensation “. It is the private copying levy, renamed in France “ private copying fee †
In summary, this financial flow therefore compensates for the freedom for users to make copies of works without first asking the permission of each rights holder. The issue raised in Austria ultimately came down to determining the scope of this exception. If the royalty is the counterpart of a freedom to copy on “ any support Does this expression also cover cloud storage? Is the cloud a medium?