Musicians are awaiting a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling this week on the payment of royalties to artists for music, or music videos, played in hotel rooms. The case challenges whether or not a section of Irish copyright legislation, the 2000 Copyright and Related Rights Act, goes against an EU directive on rental and lending copyright. Section 97 of the Irish act specifically exempts hotels from paying royalties to musicians for music played in hotel rooms by guests.
If the ECJ find that the section is in breach of the EU directive the government faces a back payment bill of millions of euro, according to the Sunday Business Post. Once the backlog is cleared, hotels will be expected to pay the royalties if the case is successful.
The case was originally brought against Ireland in the Irish High Court by the Phonographic Performance (Ireland) Ltd (PPI) which collects royalties and distributes them to performers and record companies. Whenever recorded music is played in public a royalty must be paid to the artist and to company that produced the recording.