Original broadcast or retransmission? Ruling in Finnish Market Court
In January 2018 one of FiCom’s major member companies, Telia, faced a claim from Finnish retransmission collecting society, Kopiosto, which has mandate to present retransmission rights of television programmes in Finland. Kopiosto claimed that Telia is breaching retransmission rights that Kopiosto represents by sending Finnish channels in its cable network. Telia – naturally – saw that they are carrying out original broadcasts on behalf of television broadcasters, by virtue of the rights acquired by broadcasters.
In its ruling in August 2019 Finnish Market Court found that the collecting society Kopiosto did not have standing to sue for infringement. The Market Court also ruled that Telia did not provide retransmissions of broadcasts but original transmissions for which the rights had already been cleared by the broadcasters.
Decisions of Market Court may be appealed against to the Supreme Court, provided that the Supreme Court grants leave to appeal. Kopiosto has announced that it wants to have the final ruling in the matter and has applied for leave to appeal. If the appeal permit is approved, the ruling in Supreme Court is expected in few years.