Current portal location

Website content

WTO cases

Cases involving the EU

WT/DS160 - Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act

Last update: 01/03/2010

  • Complaint by: EU
  • Complaint against: United States
  • Third parties:
    Australia - Brazil - Canada - Japan - Switzerland
Summary of case:

Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act permits, under certain conditions, the playing of radio and television music in public places (bars, shops, restaurants, etc.) without the payment of a royalty fee.

Relevant WTO provision:

TRIPS (9(1), 13)

Current situation:

Panel found in favour of the EC. On 24 July 2001, DSB accepted US request to modify the reasonable period of time which has expired on 20 Dec. 2001. EC and US agreed to resort to arbitration pursuant to Art. 25 to establish the level of nullification and impairment. The level has been set at 1.219.000 ¿/year. Pending talks on a mutually agreed solution the EC made an Art. 22 request in order to safeguard its WTO rights. US objects to the level of suspension proposed by the EC and referred the matter to arbitration. This arbitration has been suspended but any party may reactivate it at any time. In July 2002 US Congress decided the creation of a fund to pay settlement of WTO disputes. On that basis a mutually satisfactory temporary arrangement for a period of 3 years between the US and the EC was notified to the DSB on 23 June 2003. The EU further expects the US administration to engage the US Congress with a view to bringing the US copyright act into compliance with the TRIPS agreement.


Date of request: 26/01/1999


Date of request: 15/04/1999
Date of establishment: 26/05/1999
Date of circulation of report: 15/06/2000

Date of adoption - panel/AB report:


Implementation deadline:


Recourse to Articles:

  • 18-01-2002 - Recourse to Art. 21.5 -
WTO documents
Important legal notice

The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice.