Music online and copyright violation

A musician that considers its copyright violated can resort to the Judge of the state where it lives if the piece has been broadcast in such a state, also if just on the Internet.

Thus, a French musician, after discovering that his own songs had been pressed by an Austrian company on supports distributed in the Great Britain, has been able to file a law suit with the French court since these songs were available also on the Internet.

The possibility of filing a law suit in the place of the own residence is a matter that has to be evaluated carefully and if possible, it is advantageous to make use of this possibility for an evident enhancement in the development of the law suit and a cost reduction.

Nevertheless, the fact that infringement or plagiarism occur on the Internet is not always sufficient element to choose the national judge.

The Court of Justice (C-17012) has specified the conditions on which this is possible.

Above all, it is necessary that the right violated is protected in the state in which the law suit wants to be initiated, which is something that occurs in the hypothesis of violation of copyright that is protected in the states member of the European Union.

It is then necessary that the place of the law suit is that in which a damage can be caused and «the eventuality that such a damage materializes derives in particular from the possibility of finding, by means of an Internet site that can be accessed in the district of the judge in charge, a reproduction of the piece relative to the rights that can be asserted by the claimant».

The fact that a musical piece is available on the Internet, which is accessible from every member state and therefore also from France, gives the basis for the hypothesis that also in France the composer will suffer damage.

Despite that, in France the composer shall seek compensation for damages just for the sales in said state, and this is the reason why the advantage of promoting the law suit in the own state could be annulled by the limited quantification of the damage compensation.