2012 June

No compensation for news extracts of sport events is justified, recommends Advocate General


Advocate General Bot has recommended to the European Court of Justice that broadcasters using news extracts of major sports events should only have to compensate the broadcaster holding the rights to the event for the cost of accessing the signal for those rights – even if that cost is zero.  They do not have to contribute to the cost of acquiring the rights or broadcasting the event.

He considered that freedom of expression, which encapsulates the principle of media plurality, outweighed the right-holder’s right to property for those news extracts.  However, he noted that the limitation on the right to property was mitigated by the following factors: the news extracts had to be used in the context of a news programme and not an entertainment programme; the news extracts were limited to a maximum of 90 seconds; and the news broadcaster had to publicise the source of the extract which provided publicity for the broadcaster of the football match.

The Advocate General’s Opinion is highly influential upon the deliberations of the Court of Justice though it is not bound by it and may take a different approach.


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