According to a recent decision¹ issued by the Court of Appeals of Rio Grande do Sul, the verification report issued by ECAD – Central Bureau for Collection and Distribution of Musical Public Performance Rights (ECAD) are not capable of proving the public performance of musical works.
In this case, ECAD filed a lawsuit against a shopping mall in the city of Novo Hamburgo, demanding payment for the public performance of copyrighted musical works as background music. On its defense, the mall argued that (1) it reproduced music acquired from a foreign website and paid copyright royalties directly to the website; (2) ECAD’s verification reports were not valid; and (3) ECAD had applied the total area of the mall for calculating the royalties due, while the music was only played at the mall’s central corridors.
Although the lower court ruled partially in favor of the plaintiff (recognizing ECAD’s right to charge copyright royalties in this case, but limiting the basis for public performance royalties calculation to the area indicated by defendant), the Court of Appeals of Rio Grande do Sul reversed this decision, holding that ECAD had not proven the public performance of musical works by defendant. According to the Court of Appeals, the verification report issued by ECAD would not be valid because it was an unilateral document not signed by defendant.
¹Lawsuit No. 0114335-95.2018.8.21.7000