IP case law Court of Justice

Term of protection Directive

Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, as amended by Directive 2011/77/EU of 27 September 2011
(previously Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights)

5 preliminary rulings


Judgment of 20 Oct 2016, C-169/15 (Montis Design)

Article 10(2) of Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, read together with Article 13(1) of that directive, must be interpreted as meaning that the terms of protection laid down by that directive do not apply to copyright which was initially protected by national legislation but which was extinguished prior to 1 July 1995. Directive 93/98 must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which, initially, had granted, as in the main proceedings, copyright protection to a work, but which, subsequently, caused that copyright to be definitively extinguished, before 1 July 1995, by reason of non-compliance with a formal requirement.

Judgment of 9 Feb 2012, C-277/10 (Luksan)

Articles 1 and 2 of Council Directive 93/83/EEC of 27 September 1993 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission, and Articles 2 and 3 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 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3 of Directive 2006/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property and with Article 2 of Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, must be interpreted as meaning that rights to exploit a cinematographic work such as those at issue in the main proceedings (reproduction right, satellite broadcasting right and any other right of communication to the public through the making available to the public) vest by operation of law, directly and originally, in the principal director. Consequently, those provisions must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which allocates those exploitation rights by operation of law exclusively to the producer of the work in question.

Judgment of 1 Dec 2011, C-145/10 (Painer)

Article 6 of Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights must be interpreted as meaning that a portrait photograph can, under that provision, be protected by copyright if, which it is for the national court to determine in each case, such photograph is an intellectual creation of the author reflecting his personality and expressing his free and creative choices in the production of that photograph. Since it has been determined that the portrait photograph in question is a work, its protection is not inferior to that enjoyed by any other work, including other photographic works.

Judgment of 20 Jan 2009, C-240/07 (Sony)

The term of protection laid down by Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights is also applicable, pursuant to Article 10(2) thereof, where the subject‑matter at issue has at no time been protected in the Member State in which the protection is sought.

Article 10(2) of Directive 2006/116 is to be interpreted as meaning that the terms of protection provided for by that directive apply in a situation where the work or subject‑matter at issue was, on 1 July 1995, protected as such in at least one Member State under that Member State’s national legislation on copyright and related rights and where the holder of such rights in respect of that work or subject‑matter, who is a national of a non‑Member State, benefited, at that date, from the protection provided for by those national provisions.

Judgment of 29 Jun 1999, C-60/98 (Butterfly Music)

Article 10(3) of Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonising the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights does not preclude a provision of national law such as the provision which, in Italian Law No 52 of 6 February 1996, as amended by Italian Law No 650 of 23 December 1996, lays down a limited period in which sound-recording media may be distributed by persons who, by reason of the expiry of the rights relating to those media under the previous legislation, had been able to reproduce and market them before that Law entered into force.