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CJEU Case C-476/17/ Judgement

Pelham GbmH, Moses Pelham, Martin Haas v Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider-Esleben

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Grand Chamber
Decision date:
29/07/2019

Key facts

  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 2(c) and Article 5(3)(d) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (OJ 2001 L 167, p. 10), and of Article 9(1)(b) and of the first paragraph of Article 10(2) of Directive 2006/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property (OJ 2006 L 376, p. 28).
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between Pelham GmbH, Mr M. Pelham and Mr M. Haas (‘Pelham’), on the one hand, and Mr R. Hütter and Mr F. Schneider‑Esleben (‘Hütter and another’), on the other, concerning the use, in the recording of the song ‘Nur mir’, composed by Mr Pelham and Mr Haas and produced by Pelham GmbH, of an approximately 2-second rhythm sequence from a phonogram of the group Kraftwerk, of which Hütter and another are members.

Judgement

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 2(c) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, must, in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, be interpreted as meaning that the phonogram producer’s exclusive right under that provision to reproduce and distribute his or her phonogram allows him to prevent another person from taking a sound sample, even if very short, of his or her phonogram for the purposes of including that sample in another phonogram, unless that sample is included in the phonogram in a modified form unrecognisable to the ear.
  2. Article 9(1)(b) of Directive 2006/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property must be interpreted as meaning that a phonogram which contains sound samples transferred from another phonogram does not constitute a ‘copy’, within the meaning of that provision, of that phonogram, since it does not reproduce all or a substantial part of that phonogram.
  3. A Member State cannot, in its national law, lay down an exception or limitation, other than those provided for in Article 5 of Directive 2001/29, to the phonogram producer’s right provided for in Article 2(c) of that directive.
  4. Article 5(3)(d) of Directive 2001/29 must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘quotations’, referred to in that provision, does not extend to a situation in which it is not possible to identify the work concerned by the quotation in question.
  5. Article 2(c) of Directive 2001/29 must be interpreted as constituting a measure of full harmonisation of the corresponding substantive law.