Havel & Partners has successfully defended the Czech Republic-based OSA music professionals' association against abuse of dominance claims and a CZK 10.7 million fine imposed by the Czech Office for Competition Protection.
OSA is a professional association of composers, lyricists, and musical publishers in the Czech Republic. Its avowed mission is the management of economic copyrights of composers, lyricists, and publishers or their heirs (by law or based on an agreement).
According to Havel & Partners, the Regional Court in Brno concluded that the Office was not entitled to fine collective management societies in relation to determining royalty rates, since the Ministry of Culture acts as a competition authority of its own kind in these relations, ruling in favor of OSA and cancelling the multi-million fine.
Back in 2020, the Office had fined OSA for demanding payments from accommodation facilities for TV and radio receivers placed in rooms, between 2008 and 2014, without taking into account the actual occupancy of the rooms.
"We welcome the court’s decision," OSA Board of Directors Chairman Roman Strejcek commented. "From the start, we have maintained that we acted in full compliance with the then applicable wording of the Copyright Act, the common practice of collective management societies abroad, and in particular the rules for the protection of competition."
According to the firm, the courts have already annulled a similar decision of the Office for Competition Protection in a different case regarding a different collective management organization, on the same grounds.
The Havel & Partners team included Partners Robert Neruda and Lenka Stikova Gachova and Senior Associate Vladislav Bernard.