IFPI comment on Test-Achats judgement
27 May, 2004
The Belgian court rejected today the complaint made by consumer organisation Test-Achats against four record companies in Belgium (EMI, Sony, Universal and BMG), which challenged their use of technical measures to protect against piracy. Test-Achats asked for the companies to be prevented from using technical measures on their CDs and for all copy-controlled CDs on the market to be removed. In today’s ruling, the judge confirmed that there is no ‘right’ to a private copy under Belgian legislation and rejected Test-Achats’ demands.
The judgment is in line with previous court cases and government proclamations in other countries. In France, the Tribunal de Grand Instance de Paris on 30 April rejected a similar challenge to the technical protections used on DVD videos. In the Netherlands, the Minister of Justice has told the Lower House that copy-control protections on audio CDs do not as such raise problems for consumers, given that such discs are primarily designed to be played on CD players.
We can confirm that the Belgian consumer organisation Test-Achats has served a writ against four record companies in Belgium regarding their use of technical protection measures on CDs .
European law is clear that record companies and other copyright holders have the right to protect their works through technical means. This is particularly important to discourage widespread unauthorised copying and internet distribution of recorded music . We do not believe that legal challenges to these technologies have any merit.
For further information please contact Adrian Strain, Fiona Harley or Julie Harari at IFPI Communications on tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900