Zanoise Talent

US artists still waiting for EU neighbouuing rights royalties

Sep 14, 2022

You may recall that the EU court ruled in September 2020 that the right to equitable remuneration under the EU Directive must be granted both to EU performers and record labels AND to those who are nationals of other WPPT signatories (the US are a WPPT-signatory).

Following the court’s decision, the Netherlands have changed their legislation thus enabling US artists to collect neighboring rights going forward. However, in other countries neither copyright laws nor local distribution rules have changed, so materially US artists find themselves still in the same spot. However, looking more closely, one can notice some interesting things. In France, for instance, many millions of Euros have been set aside as a provision against claims, as it is still quite uncertain which direction things go.

One possibility is that the French will be forced to compensate US rightsholders or change their copyright law in order to comply with the EU court ruling going forward. Another scenario (much, much preferred by the French CMOs and by many others) is that new pan-European legislation will be adopted so that the ruling essentially will be reverted and neighboring rights royalties will be reserved to artists from the EU and other countries who guarantee their artists the same protection levels.