The out-of-court settlement puts an end to a nine-year legal battle between Kabel Deutschland and German copyright collection society VG Media regarding the appropriate royalty payments for cable carriage.
At the same time, Kabel Deutschland signed a long-term licence contract with VG Media which will lead to considerably increasing payments by the cable company in the next years, according to the copyright society.
The district court of Berlin already confirmed in August 2013 that VG Media’s claim was justified. Kabel Deutschland has been inadequately compensating the channels since 2006, ruled the judges.
Kabel Deutschland’s goal in the trial was to reach a court decision that VG Media isn’t eligible at all to collect royalty payments for the right to distribute commercial TV and radio stations on its cable network.
As Kabel Deutschland took legal action against the ruling of the Berlin district court, the case would have continued at Berlin’s Supreme Court on December 10, 2014. Following the signing of the settlement and licence contracts, the planned court hearing has mutually been cancelled.
VG Media collects the copyright royalties for nearly all commercial German and several international TV and radio channels. The society holds more than 1,500 contracts for cable distribution rights with large market players like Unitymedia Kabel BW, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Tele Columbus and PrimaCom as well as medium-sized and smaller operators of cable and IPTV networks.