Resolving Disputes Over Collective Licensing
Jurisdiction Is there a specialized dispute resolution body? Which Body? Do the general courts have jurisdiction to determine reasonable license terms where they cannot be agreed? Which court?
Argentina No
N/A
Yes
Civil Courts
Australia Yes
The Copyright Tribunal

The Copyright Tribunal is an independent body established by s.138 of the Copyright Act 1968 which has jurisdiction, on application by a licensee or a collecting society, to determine reasonable remuneration or royalties payable in respect of licenses for the exploitation of copyright.

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Yes
Federal Court of Australia; State Supreme Courts.

Both courts have jurisdiction in respect of copyright infringement actions. The courts in their discretion, award damages for infringement of copyright on the basis of a reasonable royalty.

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Austria Yes
Copyright Senate (Urheberrechtssenat)

Copyright Senate (Urheberrechtssenat) – as regards the negotiation of umbrella agreements between collecting societies and certain user organizations..

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Yes
The competent regional Commercial Court (Handelsgericht)
Barbados Yes
Barbados Copyright Tribunal
No

N/A

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Belgium Yes
The Directorate-General Control and Mediation (Algemene Directie Controle en Bemiddeling/Direction générale du Contrôle et de la Médiation,"ADCB" or "DGCM")
No
N/A
Benin Yes
N/A
Yes
Court of first instance
Botswana Yes
Copyright Arbitration Panel
No
N/A
Brazil No
N/A
Yes
State Courts have jurisdiction to rule any disputes between ECAD and third parties involving the authorization and payment of royalties for public performance of musical works.

As a general rule, license terms are determined by the parties. ECAD, the only existing collecting society in Brazil, does not have the authority to discuss and negotiate license terms on behalf of copyright owners other than for the authorization and royalties due for the public performance of musical works.

ECAD uses specific criteria to calculate royalties due for the public performance of musical works.

Accordingly, royalties vary according to (i) licensee’s activities (i.e. general users, shows/events, and radio and television); (ii) the importance of the musical work in the entity/individual’s business activities (which  may be indispensable, required or secondary), (iii) the periodicity of use of the musical work (which may be permanent or occasional) and (iv) whether public performance is mechanical or live, with or without a dance performance. ECAD’s authorization covers ECAD’s entire repertoire and royalties, therefore, do not take into consideration the number of musical works used by licensee.

Given the subjectivity of the criteria described above, discussions surrounding the license terms usually focus on the amounts due by the person/entity publicly performing the musical works (many times debates include whether any royalties are due at all). In the event of disputes, courts may determine the license terms that shall apply.

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Burkina Faso Yes
The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism

The professional body for collecting society is under the Ministry in charge of Culture.  Its status is approved by the Council of Ministers on the proposal of the Minister of Culture.

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Yes
The High Court (TGI - Tribunal de Grande Instance)
Cameroon Yes
Standing Committee for Mediation and Monitoring of Collective Management Organizations for copyright and related rights

We have a body in the form of a Committee for Mediation and Monitoring of Collective Management Organizations which settles disputes between users and bodies, as well as bodies themselves.

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No
N/A
Canada Yes
The Copyright Board of Canada

Any decision of the Board may, for the purposes of its enforcement, be made an order of the Federal Court or any Superiour court and is enforceable in the same manner as an order of thereof.

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No
N/A
Chile Yes
Arbitration panel with three members

However, please note that the regulations that will govern the mediation and dispute resolution body have not been enacted yet, so this body is not operating yet in Chile.

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No
N/A
China No
N/A
Yes
Any ordinary court can determine whether a license term is reasonable.

In practice, because the PRC collective societies are all based in Beijing, the courts in Beijing generally have more experience and more frequent opportunity to review cases involving license terms. 

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Colombia No
As of November 2012 the Colombian Copyright Office has opened to the public a Conciliation and Arbitration Center.
Yes
Civil courts meaning civil judges or the Colombian Copyright Office (Law 1564 of 2012)
Côte d'Ivoire No
N/A
Yes
The Abidjan Court of First Instance; The Abidjan Trade Court
Czech Republic Yes
Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture is the supervising body which reviews license terms as well as grants/withdraws collecting societies' authorizations in respect of collective administration.

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No
N/A
France No
N/A
Yes
Certain High Courts (“Tribunaux de Grande Instance”)

The following nine High Courts (“Tribunaux de Grande Instance”) listed in the decree n° 2009-1205 of October 9, 2009 (determining the seat and jurisdiction of courts in intellectual property): Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nanterre, Nancy, Paris, Rennes, Fort-de-France.

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Germany Yes
The Administration Board at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
No
N/A
Ghana Yes
A Copyright Tribunal, but not yet set up.

There are provisions in the Copyright Act 690 for the setting up of a Copyright Tribunal, but it is not yet established.

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No
N/A
Guinea No
N/A
No
N/A
Hong Kong SAR, China Yes
The Copyright Tribunal
No
N/A
Hungary No
N/A
No
N/A
Indonesia No
N/A
Yes
As any other copyright dispute, parties may address such issues to the Commercial Court – or arbitration tribunal.

 

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Italy No
N/A
Yes
Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale

Regional Administrative Courts (“Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale”, or “T.A.R.”) and Civil Courts.

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Jamaica Yes
The Copyright Tribunal
No
N/A
Japan Yes
The Agency for Cultural Affairs

Under the Act, users may demand “Designated Collecting Societies” to attend a discussion concerning the licensing terms where the collecting society is considered to have significant influence on standard licensing terms. The collecting society must accept such a demand.

If the user and the society are unable to reach agreement as a result of this discussion, the parties may make a request to the Agency of Cultural Affairs for a ruling on the licensing terms.  If the Agency of Cultural Affairs issues a ruling to amend the licensing terms, the licensing terms are amended according to the ruling.

Collecting societies currently designated as Designated Collecting Societies by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in relation to audio video licensing are;

  • Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC)
  • Japan Council of Performers’ Organizations, Center for Performers’ Rights Administration (CPRA)
  • The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ)
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No
N/A
Kenya Yes
The Competent Authority established under the Copyright Act.
Yes
The High Court of Kenya
Madagascar No
N/A
Yes
Court of First Instance - Civil Court

 

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Malawi No
N/A
Yes
Commercial Court under the High Court of Malawi
Malaysia Yes
Copyright Tribunal / IP Court
No

Under the Copyright Act 1987, the Copyright Tribunal is empowered to determine disputes concerning the license terms between parties and the Copyright Tribunal may on its own motion or at the request of the parties, is entitled to refer the question of law arising from the disputes to the High Court for a decision

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Mauritius No
N/A
Yes
The Intermediate Court and The Supreme Court
Mexico Yes
Mexican Copyright Office (MCO)
Yes
Federal Civil or Administrative Court

If the parties fail to reach a settlement before the Copyright Office, a lawsuit can be brought before a Federal Civil or Administrative Court to solve such a controversy.

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Mozambique No
N/A
Yes
There is one Department in the Court which deals with cases related to Intellectual Property in general.

It is a Pilot Section in the Commercial area.

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Namibia Yes
Tribunal Court, but until to date all cases we had before were handled through Magistrates Courts because Tribunal is very expensive to deal with dispute cases as it requires experts in the field of Copyright or general Intellectual Property Rights.

We do not have clear articles or statement that direct music users to apply copyright music license from NASCAM, and this make our work a bit difficult to explain to music users.

We are using a division of Namibian Police, Commercial Crime Investigation Unit when we come across dispute between CMO and the users. The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Act, provide Tribunal Court to deal with Copyright dispute cases.

 

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No

N/A

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Nepal Yes

The same Act under Section 30 (2) (b), Section 30 and Section 35 provides for this provision.

Copy Right Registrar's Office, Appellate Court, Supreme Court and Concerned District Court to implement the decision.

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Yes
Appellate Court, Supreme Court and the District Court
Netherlands No
N/A
No
N/A
New Zealand Yes
Copyright Tribunal
No
N/A
Niger No
N/A
Yes
The High Court (Le tribunal de grande instance)
Nigeria No
N/A
Yes
Federal High Court

No; except in the case of Licensing Panel for Compulsory licensing of Translation and Reproduction of certain works contained under Section 37 and the Fourth Schedule of the Copyright Act.

Yes; In general terms, the court can determine reasonable license terms.

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Peru Yes
National Institute of Antitrust and Intellectual Property Protection (INDECOPI) - Copyright Office
No
N/A
Philippines Yes
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines
No
N/A
Poland Yes
Komisja Prawa Autorskiego
Yes
Civil Regional Court in Poznan
Republic of Korea Yes
Korea Copyright Commission (Conciliation body)
No

When conciliation fails, lawsuit can be filed, and judges at a court will rule the suit. There are no specialist courts for copyright.

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Russian Federation No
N/A
No
Relevant courts at defendant's place of domicile.
Saint Lucia No
N/A
Yes
The High Court
Senegal Yes
The examining magistrate having competence for the infringement or the President of the Court in all cases
Yes
Tribunal de 1ère Instance

Under Article 131 of the Law of 25/01/2009 2008-09, the Regional Court has jurisdiction to act on the copyright.

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Seychelles No
N/A
Yes
SACS has the mandate of being the Licensing Body.
Singapore Yes
The Copyright Tribunal
No

N/A

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South Africa Yes
The Copyright Tribunal – see Chapter 3 (sections 29-36) of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978
Yes
The Copyright Tribunal – see Chapter 3 (sections 29-36) of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978
Spain Yes
Copyright Commission

Copyright Commission (the decisions of this Commission are  binding and  appealable)

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Yes
Commercial Court
Sweden No
N/A
Yes
Public Courts with District Courts as first instance
Switzerland Yes
Federal Arbitration Commission for the Exploitation of Copyrights and Neighboring Rights

Collecting society license terms need to be approved by the Federal Arbitration Commission for the Exploitation of Copyrights and Neighboring Rights (Eidgenössische Schiedskommission für die Verwertung von Urheberrechten und verwandten Schutzrechten, ESchK)

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No
N/A
Tanzania No
N/A
Yes
District court
Thailand No
N/A
Yes
The Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court.
Turkey Yes
Commission of Conciliation (Uzlaşma Komisyonu)

Each collecting society determines its own tariff for the following year. It is also possible for the collecting societies in a certain field to determine a common tariff. If a common tariff cannot be agreed upon, however, the collecting societies are entitled to request that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı) establish a dispute resolution body (one representative from the Ministry, two representatives from the Competition Authority and representatives from the collecting societies and professional organizations involved).

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Yes
Courts of Intellectual and Industrial Rights (Fikri ve Sınai Haklar Mahkemeleri)
Uganda No
N/A
No
N/A
United Kingdom Yes
The Copyright Tribunal with a right of appeal on points of law to the High Court
No
N/A
United States of America Yes
Copyright Royalty Judges

Copyright Royalty Judges (panel of three full time judges).  Novel questions can be referred by the Copyright Royalty Judges to the Register of Copyrights. (17 U.S.C. § 802)

Under consent decrees entered into between the United States and the two largest performance rights organizations, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (or ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (or BMI), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York serves as a “Rate Court” to decide disputes between ASCAP or BMI and a licensee if no agreement can be reached on the license fee. 

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No
N/A
Venezuela No
N/A
Yes
There is no special court for intellectual property matters or for copyright matters specifically.
Vietnam No
N/A
Yes
Courts at district levels, Civil courts and Economic courts under provincial people’s courts.

The Civil Procedure Code of Vietnam (“CPC”) provides that disputes over intellectual property rights fall under the courts' jurisdiction. A circular jointly issued by the Supreme Court and other State authorities goes further to provide that courts have jurisdiction to handle disputes over contracts on copyright assignment or licensing, or disputes over contracts on copyright service.

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Zambia No
N/A
No
We have never used the courts to determine reasonable license terms