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Kochanski & Partners Successful for Ringier Axel Springer Polska in Royalty Dispute with Polish Filmmakers Association

Kochanski & Partners Successful for Ringier Axel Springer Polska in Royalty Dispute with Polish Filmmakers Association

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Kochanski & Partners has successfully represented Ringier Axel Springer Polska in a dispute that reached Poland's Supreme Court with the Polish Filmmakers Association involving the calculation of royalties.

The cassation appeal was filed by the PFA, which was claiming additional royalties for films accompanying newspapers published by Ringier Axel Springer Polska. 

According to Kochanski & Partners, which was selected last year by Ringier Axel Springer Polska as its sole law firm for litigation in Poland (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 4, 2019), the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the case means that "co-authors of films accompanying newspapers are entitled to additional royalties, however only on copies actually sold, and not on the entire published run," and that "moreover, the amount of royalties may not be arbitrarily imposed by copyright collecting societies."

In addition, Kochanski & Partners explained, "the Supreme Court also did not share the appellant’s arguments that fixed rates applied by the Polish Filmmakers Association were market-based. These rates are actually imposed (inter alia, on publishers) by collecting societies as monopolists. The mere fact that the users of copyrighted works have to, like it or not, accept such rates does not mean that these rates are market-based."

The Kochanski & Partners team was led by Senior Managing Partner Piotr Kochanski and included Partners Mateusz Ostrowski and Agnieszka Chajewska, Counsel Agnieszka Choromanska-Malicka, and Associates Tomasz Szambelan and Mateusz Sadlyk.

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