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

Press Release
Ber­lin, 2019-02-15

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.

This jud­ge­ment

  • 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.

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