Telenet wins copyright lawsuit

A court in Mechelen, Belgium, has ruled that triple-play operator Telenet does not need to pay extra money to organisations that manage rights, such as Agicoa, BAVP and Sabam – declaring that it is enough for television service providers to take a contract, including copyrights.

Telenet has been seeking clarification on the issue since 2006. At that time, a number of commercial stations were available only on cable; they are now also available via satellite and DSL. These include VMMa (VTM, Kanaaltwee), SBS Belgium (VT4, Vijf) and RTL-TVi. The court supported Telenet’s views, namely that rights should be sold in one transaction.

“The various network providers will not have to pay extra for separate retransmissions on their “part of the chain,” the court said. The ruling has potential major implications, because it is assumed that TV Vlaanderen (satellite) and Belgacom (DSL) do pay.

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