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Authors’ Rights – Public Communication in Hotels. Victory for Creators in Brazil

The ECAD – Central Office for the Recollection and Distribution of Music in Brazil – gained a victory this Wednesday March 24th. before the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ), in a long battle against the hotel industry for the payment of Authors´ Rights of musical, literary and audiovisual works reproduced inside the rooms of Brazilian hotels.

In such a decision with 1 negative and 8 positive votes, the STJ established jurisprudence under the form of repetitive rite. The only partial dissonance came from Minister Raúl Araújo, but was rejected by the majority. The collegiate presented the following thesis: “The supply of equipments in hotel, motel or similar rooms for the reproduction of musical, literary and audiovisual pieces allows for the collection of rights by the ECAD”. And “The hiring of paid television services by a hotel company does not prevent the collection of authors `rights by ECAD, without bis in idem”.

In the sentence, Minister Antonio Carlos Ferreira, highlighted that with the sanction of Law 9.610/88, the guidelines for taxable events for collection of authors´ rights in hotel, motel or similar rooms have been greatly modified, rendering unnecessary to invoke company benefit and to differentiate the transmission from the retransmission. And, he added, the important point in the new law is the prohibition that communication to the public, by any means or process, in places of public assistance, be carried out without the payment of Authors `rights.

The collection for Authors ‘rights for the use of music in hotels is practiced in many countries. Nevertheless, Brazilian establishments have refused to pay, claiming that the room is not a public area, but a private one. For that reason, this constitutes a remarkable victory for the ECAD, in reference to the protection of music composers and artist’s ´rights.


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