/ Supreme Court rejects intellectual property lawsuit and settles battle between VTR and Egeda24 April, 2020
After the recent ruling issued by the Supreme Court, the dispute between the Entity for the Collective Management of Audiovisual Producers’ Rights of Chile (Egeda by its Spanish initials) and VTR Banda Ancha Chile for alleged infringements of the Intellectual Property Law consisting of non-payment of public communication rights, was finalized.
The conflict began with a lawsuit filed by Egeda against VTR for alleged infractions of Intellectual Property Law. Egeda pointed out in their libel that VTR incorporated works into its programming schedule that supposedly formed part of their repertoire and for which the respective public communication rights were not being paid. They also indicated that VTR carried out acts of public communication by relaying the signals.
For its part, VTR stated that it did not and does not perform acts of public communication, but simply broadcasting activity exclusively within the concession area of said signals, and therefore does not carry out any economic operation different from that of the broadcasting concessionaires, who are the ones who in fact emit the signal, producing public communication of the contents inserted in such signals.
In the ruling of April 06, 2020, the Supreme Court rejected the arguments presented by Egeda. It was noted that VTR re-broadcasts the open transmission signals, that is, the channels of national free reception, which in turn reincorporate the works contained in the repertoire administered and managed by Egeda. Thus, it is not VTR that performs the act of public communication and the use of audiovisual works that make up Egeda’s catalog, but the respective television channel, who in its capacity as the broadcaster transmits programs to the public through frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum it has tendered.
Consequently, the public communication activity by which the rights whose collection was intended are accrued, is carried out by the respective television channels and not by VTR, who is not obliged to answer for the broadcasts of a third party. It is the responsibility of the referred television channels to obtain the respective authorizations of the works they intend to exhibit. Therefore, it was concluded that the mere act of rebroadcasting the works does align with the infringement provided for in Intellectual Property Law.