AKTUALNOŚCI

Double remuneration is in accordance with the Polish Constitution

Lis 8, 2019

On November 5, 2019, the Constitutional Tribunal issued a judgment regarding compensation for copyright infringement (case no. number P 14/19).

The provisions of the Act of 4 February 1994 on copyright and related rights allow the possibility of seeking compensation for infringement of copyrights in the amount corresponding to a double remuneration that would be due to the copyright holder if he has given consent to use the work (art. 79 paragraph 1 point 3 b). The Tribunal was to answer the question whether this regulation is consistent with the Polish Constitution, in particular the right to protection of property and property rights, and the principle of protection of freedoms and rights.

Furthermore, the possibility of claiming as compensation double hypothetical remuneration that the copyright owner would receive from the infringer, if he had had the consent to use the work, assumes the possibility of obtaining a compensation which is higher than the real damage suffered, which is contrary to the rules applicable in civil law.

In a judgment of November 5, 2019, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the provision is in accordance with the Polish Constitution. The decision is undoubtedly beneficial for the copyright holders but it is quite surprising, in particular in the light of the previous judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal concerning the same provision, which allowed a triple remuneration, if a copyright infringement is culpable. In this regard, the Tribunal ruled that the provision is unconstitutional and is not currently in force (judgement dated 23 June 2015, case no. SK 32/14). We will know the legal arguments from the justification of the judgment, which has not yet been published.

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