Dutch cablers win neighbouring rights case

NLKabel, the Dutch association of cablers, has won a case about payment of neighbouring rights to musicians and actors which was started in August 2007 by the Norma organisation.

The Hague court ruled that cable operators do not infringe the related rights of performers and therefore no compensation is due. The cable operators are not broadcasters, just distributors, and the rights have already been cleared by the original broadcasters.

NLKabel welcomes the decision. Cable operators say they respect the rules and already pay many tens of millions each year to beneficiaries and their organizations.

The association has been arguing for some time to create a better system of collecting rights societies. The Dutch Parliament is currently discussing a bill to strengthen that oversight.

NLKabel director Rob van Esch said in a statement: “We want a fair and transparent system where everyone is paid for his or her contribution to programs. We must avoid double payment. I hope that the Parliament will soon bring clarity. “