VG Media wins Case against Sol-Melia Hotel Chain
Spanish Tribunal Supremo confirms obligation for hotels to pay a license fee to broadcasters for TV in guest rooms – The judgement is final
The collecting society VG Media which represents more than 70 international TV broadcasters wins case against “Sol Melia” hotel chain before the highest Spanish court, the Tribunal Supremo. The judgement now confirmed that a license was indeed required for retransmission of TV program signals in guest rooms of hotels. As a result, the protracted copyright dispute between VG Media and the Spanish hotel chain was finally resolved. Since cable retransmission is harmonised within EU, this judgment will have an impact on hotels in all EU member states.
With its decision of 19 December 2018, the Highest Spanish Court ultimately dismissed the appeal lodged by Spanish hotel chain “Sol Melia”. Thus, the Audiencia Provincial Civil de Madrid judgement of 1 February 2016 in favour of collecting society VG Media is now final.
- found that the sued hotel chain infringes TV broadcasters‘ rights represented by VG Media by retransmitting program signals in their hotels;
- prohibits the hotel chain from continuing to retransmit program signals without a valid license;
- determined that Sol Melia is liable to pay compensation for usages as of 2004.
The decision creates legal certainty in a fundamental copyright issue. Consequently, VG Media now seeks a contractual solution with Spanish hotels retransmitting international TV signals in their guest rooms.