Russian Authors Society gains upper hand in dispute over Muse concert
MOSCOW, December 4 - RAPSI, Sergey Feklyunin. The Supreme Commercial Court's presidium has dismissed lower court rulings allowing the Melnitsa XXI Vek concert promoter not to pay royalties for the Muse concert in Moscow, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Tuesday.
The ruling was made under an application filed by the Russian Authors Society.
The presidium has submitted the case to the first-instance court for reconsideration.
Earlier, Melnitsa filed a lawsuit with the Moscow Commercial Court against the society, seeking to declare their license contract null and void. Under the contract, the agency had been granted the right to use the society's songs at the concert. On October 21, 2011, Moscow Commercial Court Judge Tatiana Vasilyeva sided with the agency and declared the license agreement between the society and the agency null and void.
The agreement was signed just two days before the concert. Melnitsa argued that they could not have predicted which songs the musicians would play at the concert at the time the contract was signed. During the performance, the groups only played their own songs and, therefore, the agency was not liable to pay royalties. Melnitsa added that the performers were paid for their work directly after the concert.
The supervisory procedure under another lawsuit filed by Melnitsa against the society after an Elton John concert was suspended until the Muse case is resolved.
The ruling of the court panel, which submitted the case to the presidium, stated that there are two approaches for resolving such disputes. The first was applied by the lower courts in the case.
The second is that an accredited organization managing collective rights acts in the interests of an unlimited number of individuals, which includes all the rights holders in the sphere.
In such a case, users can use not only the works for which they were granted permission under the contract with the rights holders, but also any works from the managing organization's repertoire. As a result, licensing contracts do not need to be amended depending on the works used.
Eventually, the panel ruled that there were no grounds to find the contract illegal.
Founded in 1999, Melnitsa has organized performances by ZZ Top, Placebo, Gogol Bordello, Marylin Manson, Iggy Pop and BB King.