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OSA will no longer charge hotels for empty rooms

09/01/2020

Good news for hotels, bad news for OSA (Copyright Protection Association). The Office for the Protection of Competition has imposed a fine of CZK 10,676,000 on the OSA for not taking hotel rooms’ occupancy into account for years 2008 to 2014, which resulted in the hotels having to pay tariffs to OSA for empty rooms.

OSA – the Copyright Protection Association for Music Works – is a professional association of composers, lyricists and musical publishers that connects musicians (as well as their heirs) with their listeners. Currently it manages the economic copyrights of more than 9,000 domestic and 3,500,000 foreign copyright holders. Being the largest organization of its kind, the OSA has a dominant position on the Czech market. The Office for the Protection of Competition held that OSA had abused its dominant position by enforcing unfair commercial conditions for providing licenses for hotel rooms.

This whole situation has a historical context. Before 2008, the OSA distinguished occupied rooms from the unoccupied ones in its price tariff. However, after the implementation of the statutory maximum amount of copyright fees, the OSA stopped considering the occupancy status of the rooms. Accommodation facilities operators were obligated to pay the licensing fees for rooms even when they were unoccupied and there was demonstrably no use of the work. The Office for the Protection of Competition has considered this commercial condition as disproportionate to the mutual contractual performance and consideration. On grounds of this misconduct, a fine of more than 10 million CZK has been imposed on OSA.


The decision, however, is not final, as the OSA has filed an appeal against the ruling.