Prof. Dr. Fabienne Brison


Fabienne specializes in copyright, media law and new technologies (software, databases, internet, AI…). She also works regularly in the field of trademark and design law. She advises on intellectual property rights in general and defends in particular the interests of right holders. She has conducted numerous high level proceedings, but also assists her clients in negotiating and drafting agreements, advising them on both the legal-technical and strategic aspects. Fabienne is a recognized CEPANI third-party decision-maker for domain name disputes and a recognized CEPANI mediator for ICT disputes.

In addition to her extensive practice, Fabienne is also a professor of intellectual property rights, media and ICT law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She also teaches a course on Neighbouring Rights in the Manama IP/ICT at the KULeuven (campus Brussels).

Fabienne is an expert appointed to the “Council for Intellectual Property” (Copyright and Neighboring Rights Section, advisory body to the competent minister). She is the editor-in-chief of the specialized legal journal “Authors & Media”. She is also the Secretary General of the “Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale” (ALAI) and Vice-President of the Belgian ALAI group (ABA-BVA). She is the author of numerous articles and books on copyright and is a regular speaker at national and international meetings.


    • PlayRight / Google v. Belgian state. Representation of De Acteursgilde, FACIR, De Muziekgilde and the Union des Artistes, acting jointly with PlayRight in this case before the Belgian Constitutional Court for the maintenance of national provisions transposing the DSM Directive in Belgian law. Briefs were exchanged. The case is still pending before the Belgian Constitutional Court (2023 to date).
    • Anne Frank Fonds. v. Vereniging voor Onderzoek en Ontsluiting van Historische Teksten. We represent the Anne Frank Fonds in proceedings initiated by the Vereniging voor Onderzoek en Ontsluiting van Historische Teksten aiming to obtain a declaration of non-infringement. The Anne Frank Fonds seeks to condemn the infringement of the copyright of the manuscripts of Anne Frank by the Vereniging voor Onderzoek en Ontsluiting van Historische Teksten with the publication on their website of the manuscripts of Anne Frank (2022 to date).
    • VUB – UZ Brussel v. Lantronix. Assistance to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and its University Hospital Brussel (UZ Brussel) in the proceedings initiated by Lantronix before the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada) regarding the use of a software program. For the proceedings in Canada, we worked together with a team of Canadian lawyers. In the meantime parties settled the case (2023).
    • PlayRight v. Brutele, VOO, Proximus and Orange. Representation of PlayRight in proceedings initiated on behalf of PlayRight against four (other than Telenet) cable distributors (Brutélé, Voo, Proximus and Orange) for the cable retransmission of its repertoire since 2015 without its authorisation or payment of remuneration. Cases are now joined before the French Brussels Company Court, also joined with proceedings launched by Proximus, Orange, Voo and Brutélé against PlayRight and Agicoa (collective management organisation of film producers) to impose judicial mediation regarding PlayRight’s tariff for cable retransmission. We exchanged briefs. In the meantime, settlement agreements were reached with all four cable distributors. (2022 to date).
    • PlayRight v. Telenet. Represents PlayRight (collective management organisation of performers) in a dispute with cable company Telenet, concerning the communication to the public of protected performances by “direct injection”, including questions of law concerning the validity of “all-rights” agreements with broadcasters and the presumption of transfer of rights to film producers, before the Brussels Court of Appeal (2006 to date)
    • Reprobel & SEMU. Assistance in their discussions with educational establishments that refuse to enter into licensing agreements for the production of copies of scores, which are currently covered by the publishers’ exclusive reproduction rights. Copyright in sheet music follows specific legal rules and enjoys special protection. And assistance in contacts with Belgian legislators about new legislative initiatives (2022).
    • Copiebel (collective management organisation of book publishers). Assitance with its legal analysis of copyright and (digital) legal deposit requirements (2022).
    • Promeco & Boxter v. Guy Laroche & Textiles Olivier Mercier. Represents a Belgian company in a trademark dispute, concerning the exhaustion of the trademark right and (non-) opposability of the limitations in the principal license to third parties, before the Brussels Court of Appeal (2017 to date).
    • CHwapi v. SBIM. Represented CHwapi in negotiating an IT services contract with SBIM and a former employee (2019).
    • SBS & Medialaan v. H. and S. (Showgemist). Acted successfully for SBS and Medialaan as civil parties/complainers in criminal proceedings against posting of TV broadcasts on torrent sites, resulting in conviction of the 2 defendants based on copyright, related rights and computer crime laws (2018).
    • ERA Belgium v. The Brokery. Represented successfully ERA Belgium in a dispute regarding (denied) protection of computer software and interface before the court in Antwerp (2018).
    • Chloé Matthieu v. LN Knits. Successfully represented Chloé Matthieu in a dispute over alleged copyright infringement by LN Knits (2017).
    • PlayRight v. Agicoa & BAVP. Successfully intervened for PlayRight (collective management organisation of performers) in a dispute before the Constitutional Court of Belgium initiated by Agicoa and BAVP (collective management companies of film producers) against the Belgian State regarding the right to equitable remuneration for performers and producers and the non-transferable right to remuneration for cable retransmission for authors and performers (2016).
    • EMI Music Publishing Belgium, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing Belgium, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Belgium v. S. Acquaviva and others. Successfully represented the music publishers who own a portion of the copyrights to Madonna’s song “Frozen” against a Belgian composer who claimed that Madonna infringed the copyright to his song “Ma vie fout l’camp.” The composer’s claim was dismissed, upheld by the Court of Cassation (2015).
    • SBS Belgium v. Right Brain Interface (RBI) – administrative proceedings. Acted for SBS (private television broadcaster in Flanders), together with VRT and Medialaan, in a case brought by RBI against the Flemish Regulator for the Media (VRM) before the Council of State. RBI was convicted by VRM of violating Article 180 of the Flemish Media Decree (the so-called “signal integrity decree” (SBS was heard in these proceedings) (2015).
    • SBS Belgium v. Telenet. Represented SBS (private television broadcaster in Flanders), together with VRT and Medialaan, before the Court of Arbitration in a dispute with Telenet requesting the annulment of article 180 of the Flemish media decree regarding signal integrity (case for which we actively intervened during the legislative process before the Flemish Parliament) (2014).
    • SBS Belgium v. Right Brain Interface (RBI). Acted successfully for SBS (private television broadcaster in Flanders), together with VRT and Medialaan, in a dispute against RBI, which offered services related to television programs via the cloud without prior consent of the broadcasters, before the Commercial Court of Antwerp (2014).
    • BWIN, Internet Opportunity Entertainment, Ladbrokes, Sporting Exchange, Victor Chandler, William Hill v. Real Madrid And Others: represented successfully six online betting companies hauled before the Belgian Courts by football clubs Real Madrid Football, Juventus, PSV Eindhoven and FC Porto Club and some of their players (e.g. Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham), protesting inter alia against the use of the clubs’ and players’ names on the betting sites. The Liège Court of Appeal decided that the clients’ use of the names was merely informational and necessary and could therefore not constitute a trademark or personality right infringement (2009). However, the Belgian Supreme Court referred the matter to the Brussels Court of Appeal based on arguments of international jurisdiction (2012).
    • BWIN, Internet Opportunity Entertainment, Ladbrokes, Sporting Exchange, Victor Chandler, William Hill v. Real Madrid And Others: successfully represented these online betting companies hauled before the Belgian Courts in similar proceedings (supra) initiated by the Fédération Française du Tennis (F.T.T.) which organizes the Roland Garros tournament (2008).
    • Auteurs & Media (A&M)
    • Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI)
    • Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI)
    • International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP)
    • Belgian Association for Copyright (BVA)
    • Benelux Association of Trademark and Design Law (BMM)
    • CEPANI
    • Council for Intellectual Property (CIP)
    • International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL)
    • “Les travaux de l’AIPPI. Les rapports du groupe belge 2023 – Study Questions. Collecting societies. », co-authors S. van den Brande, M. De Vroey, M. Gevers, L. Gulinck, G. Kusters, L. Steuckers and E. Verraers, in : Intellectuele eigendom, 2023
    • “National report of the Belgian Association for Copyright for the ALAI Congress 2022 in Estoril (Portugal) on Copyright, Neighbouring and Special Rights.”, co-authors P. Blomme, E. Van Melkebeke and I. Kaes, in: A&M, 2022
    • Various observations under case law (mainly from the Court of Justice), Auteurs&Media, Larcier, Brussels, since 1996 to date
    • “Kroniek intellectuele rechten (2019-2020)”, co-authors M.C. Janssens, P. Maeyaert and H. Vanhees, in: R.W., 2020-2021 (see also previous biennial chronicles)
    • “Wetboek media- en auteursrecht”, co-authors S. Mampaey and K. Van der Perre, Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, Ghent, 2019
    • “Actualités législatives en droit d’auteur“, co-authors S. Hermoye, M. Sahagun, P. Meskens and D. Borgniet, in: Droit de la propriété intellectuelle, Larcier, Brussels, 2019
    • “Huldeboek Jan Corbet. Het Belgische auteursrecht. Artikelsgewijze commentaar. Vierde herziene editie”, co-editor H. Vanhees, Larcier, Brussels, 2018
    • “The Right of Communication to the Public in the European Union”, co-author S. Depreeuw, in: Research Handbook, Edward Elgar Publishing, London, 2017
    • “Op weg naar een uitgeversrecht?”, in: Schuim op de branding. Liber amicorum Michel Flamée, Die Keure, Bruges, 2016
    • “Het recht van mededeling aan het publiek”, co-author S. Depreeuw, in: 20 jaar nieuw auteursrecht, Anthemis, Brussels, 2016
    • “Rome Convention”, “Geneva Convention” and “WPPT”, in: Concise Commentary on Europe Copyright Law (2nd ed.), eds. T Dreier and B. Hugenholtz, Wolters Kluwer, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2015
    • “Moral Rights in the 21st The canging role of the moral rights in an era of information overload (ALAI Congress Brussels 17/20 September 2014)”, co-authors S. Dusollier, M.C. Janssens and H. Vanhees, Larcier, Brussels, 2015“Protection des bases de données”, co-author  N. Ide, in : Droits intellectuels – Répertoire Notarial, Larcier, 2013.
    • “The influence of the seven first European directives on Belgian copyright”, in: Harmonisation of European IP Law, Contributions in honour of Frank Gotzen eds., M.C. Janssens and G. Van Overwalle, De Boeck, Brussels, 2012
    • “Wet en Duiding. Deel Intellectuele Rechten”, co-editor H. Vanhees and M.C. Janssens, Larcier, Ghent, 2012
    • “Sancties en procedures in intellectuele rechten”, Larcier, Brussels, 2008
    • “Het Naburig Recht van de Uitvoerende Kunstenaar”, 2001 (2008)
    • “Beschouwingen over het Wetvoorstel tot wijziging van de Auteurswet van 1886”, Belgian Association for Copyright, Brussels, 1990
    • “Omzetting DSM richtlijn naar Belgisch recht en overzicht Europese rechtspraak inzake auteursrecht”, Vormingsinstituut voor Advocaten, Brussels (2024)
    • “Actualia Auteursrecht”, M&D Seminars, Ghent (2023)
    • “The Beijing Treaty, EU adherence and Moral Rights”, AEPO-ARTIS Standing Committee, Brussels (2022)
    • “Panel Performers’ Rights” (moderator), ALAI, Estoril (Portugal) (2022)
    • “Copyright Contracts Tomorrow” (introduction and presidence morning session), LEA/University Ghent/FWO, Gent (2022)
    • “Intellectuele eigendomsrechten anno 2021: auteursrecht”, Intersentia, Ghent (2021)
    • “Actualia Intellectuele Eigendomsrechten – Auteursrecht”, Conference Bar Association of Antwerp (2021)
    • “Vrouwen & Media – Inleiding Conferentie”, Auteurs&Media, Brussels (2020)
    • “What does the Art 17 of the new Copyright Directive promise for the future of authors’ right?”, panel discussion on 1st edition of ALAI Award Ceremony, Brussels (2019)
    • “Online Practices of Author Identification’, EU Council – working party IP, Brussels (2019)
    • “Auteursrecht – Droit d’auteur (Training for magistrates)”, Institut de formation judiciaire, Knokke (2018)
    • “Reviewed copyright package: one-year post EU Commission proposal”, IP Summit, Premier Cercle, Brussels (2018)
    • “The general framework and the scope of the private copying exception”, Auvibel-conference on “De uitzondering voor het kopiëren voor eigen gebruik en de vergoeding van de schade in een gedigitaliseerde omgeving: uitdagingen en vooruitzichten”, Brussels (2017)
    • “Actualia Auteursrecht”, (2017)
    • “Fabienne delivers outstanding work that is detailed and structured. That level of excellent is unmatched.” Chambers & Partners 2024
    • “She really knows her stuff, knows exactly what to say, how to structure it and what to look for. She has in-depth knowledge of the matters and can present everything very clearly.” Chambers & Partners 2024
    • “She is a brilliant mind in IP.” Chambers & Partners 2024
    • “Fabienne Brison exceeds expectations, delivers sound advice and is sure footed in turbulent disputes.” World Trademark Review 2024
    • “Equally adept at the negotiating table as she is in court, she has sharpened her advocacy skills to a fine point.” World Trademark Review 2023
    • “She looks at every new case with a fresh perspective and she is always looking for what she still has to learn.” Chambers & Partners 2021
    • “Trademark, copyright, media and technology law specialist Fabienne Brison draws on this all-encompassing knowledge to devise wraparound strategies and broker IP-rich contracts.” World Trademark Review 2021
    • “An excellent and very smart lawyer” Chambers & Partners 2020
    • Fabienne Brison is described by market commentators as an “excellent lawyer” who frequently offers expertise in IP litigation. Chambers & Partners 2018
    • “Fabienne Brison is a leading individual in copyright issues, particularly in the media and technology spaces.”Chambers & Partners 2017
    • “Fabienne Brison has particular expertise in copyright, new technology and media.” Chambers & Partners 2016
    • “Fabienne Brison often handles copyright, trademark and design disputes in the TMT sector and recently acted for PlayRight, the Belgian collecting society, on a dispute with Telenet over the cable transmission of protected material.” Chambers & Partners 2014
    • “Fabienne Brison advises on copyright, with notable expertise in the media and new technology fields.”
      Chambers & Partners 2013
    • “She [Fabienne Brison] is very hands-on, with an eye for detail and a solid awareness of business issues.”
      Chambers 2012
    • “Fabienne Brison is intelligent, committed and presents well in court.” Legal 500 2010
    • “Fabienne Brison enters the rankings this year bolstered by positive feedback on her extensive experience of copyright matters. She successfully represented SEMU before the Constitutional Court, challenging recent legal provisions.” Chambers & Partners 2010

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The facts


Dutch, English, French


University of Brussels (VUB) (Doctor in Law, 1998)

University of Paris (Paris II, Panthéon) (Diplôme d’Etude Approfondie en Propriété Littéraire, Artistique et Industrielle, 1988)

University of Brussels (VUB) (Master in Law, 1987)