Article 20 - Equality before the law
Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Approximation of laws — Intellectual property — Copyright and related rights — Directive 2001/29/EC — Exclusive right of reproduction — Exceptions and limitations — Article 5(2)(b) — Private copying exception — Fair compensation — Conclusion of agreements governed by private law to determine the criteria for exemption from payment of fair compensation — Request for reimbursement of compensation confined to the final user
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:
EU law, in particular Article 5(2)(b) 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 be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, that, on the one hand, subjects exemption from payment of the private copying levy for producers and importers of devices and media intended for use clearly unrelated to private copying to the conclusion of agreements between an entity which has a legal monopoly on the representation of the interests of authors of works, and those liable to pay compensation, or their trade associations, and, on the other hand, provides that the reimbursement of such a levy, where it has been unduly paid, may be requested only by the final user of those devices and media.