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EU court rules on music royalties row
RAAP chairman Paddy Cole Pic: RollingNews.ie

EU court rules on music royalties row

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Irish law cannot prevent music royalty payments being made to performers who are not nationals or residents of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The EEA includes EU countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The court delivered its judgment today (18 September) in a case which centres on a dispute between Recorded Artists Actors Performers (RAAP), a body which represents performers, and Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI), which represents record companies and producers.


PPI collects royalties from music played in public places and passes a share of this money on to RAAP.

The performers’ group had argued that all the fees payable must be shared, without having regard to the performer’s nationality and residence.

PPI, relying on Irish law, said this could not happen where Irish performers did not receive similar payments from non-EEA countries.


The EU court ruled, however, that EU law precludes a member state from excluding performers who are nationals of non-EEA states from the right to a single equitable remuneration for the playing of recorded music.

“Although such limitations may be introduced by the EU legislature, provided that they are consistent with the right to intellectual property, which is protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Directive 2006/115 does not contain such a limitation,” the court said.

The EU directive sets out an obligation to ensure that payments are shared fairly between producers and performers.

According to the court, however, it does not contain any condition relating to the nationality or residence of the performer.

The court added that limitations on payments imposed by non-EEA countries did not mean the EU could prevent nationals of these countries from receiving royalties.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland