Fitness Club Loses Music Royalties Case ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

In a decision that sets an intellectual property rights precedent, all fitness clubs in Estonia will have to pay the country's SCAPR affiliate licensing fees for the copyrighted music they play in their training halls.

Following a Supreme Court decision that enters into force today, the Estonian Performers Association, a member of the international Societies' Council for the Collective Management of Performers' Rights, is poised to collect on back fees owed by Tallinn-based Reval Sport.

Managing director of the Performers Association Urmas Ambur says that the sports club and others like it will have to pay around 3 or 4 euro cents per client session in licensing fees to the organization that represents the record industry and performers.

"Reval Sport's main argument for non-payment was that the sports club is a non-profit association," said Ambur.

Yet under the decision, the club will have to pay about 3,000 euros in fees and late interest.

In light of the decision, all sports clubs that play recorded music will have to sign agreements with the Performers Association, otherwise the music over the loudspeakers is illegal. The same applies to dance instructors who rent space and operate companies.