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back to article Blank media levy breaches should be criminal, say authors

Breaches of the European copyright levy system on blank media should be criminalised, a report by an authors' group says. The report is an attempt to convince the European Commission not to scrap the levy. The levy is a small additional charge on blank CDs, MP3 players and other media which is used to compensate artists for the …

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The usage assumption is flawed

Am I alone in using blank media for purposes other than copying audio CDs? I object to paying Eminem for the benefit of backing up a directory of photos...

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Down with the Levy

The levy is unjustifiable.

Taxing media for every individual who uses it to back up or transfer his/her own data and for companies using recordable media to legitimately sell their own software or other digital product is totally unfair. It also allows the artists to collect twice from consumers who will soon be able to purchase and download movies and music to burn to recordable media.

This tax, unfair to date, is even less appropriate in the digital age where blank media has many many uses.

Get rid of it.

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Unhappy

Why should I fund your business?

I use blank CDs and DVDs to backup my data and to distribute material that I produce. Why should my small company be forced to subsidise another huge and massively profitable organisation?

I thought that introducing taxes that force one company to in effect subsidise another was illegal under European law.

This tax forces young struggling artists to subsidise established rich ones. Or is that the point? Stamp out competition.

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What about other media?

Surely if there's a tax on media to pay for this unlicenced copying that goes on - that means that everyone is paying for a licence to copy, so it's okay not to bother obtaining a licence for the data you're copying?

I wouldn't condone copying data for which you haven't been granted permission by the copyright holder, if any, but taxes like this are stupid.

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what a pile of...

so, they charge you a fee because you "might use the media to copy copyright material"? So, if this is the case, scanners, printers, cameras, mobile phones, your eyes... should all have the same fee, just in case you happen to use them to pirate something...

another pointless EU law. At least the "lets have straight bananas" one was worth while, it means i can fit my sarnies, a snack AND a banana into my lunchbox...

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Flame

EU lobbied to impose levy on crowbars

to compensate burglary victims for their losses. Tool manufacturers and the construction industry said to be heavily opposed, whilst vendors of home insurance call for breaches of levy payments to be a criminal offence.

To paraphrase Withnail, they can take their content and 'shove it up their arses for free, and fuck off whilst they're doing it'.

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Royalties already paid

If the user is forced to pay a "royalty tax" on blank media why are the artists bitching about piracy? They are getting paid royalties for work they haven't even sold.

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ffs.... greedy bastards....

ok, so what about people who legally pay and download their music? what about companies using cds for data backups? what about people like my dad who backs up his photos and PC data?

surely this cant be legal? how can they tax ME for something they think i MIGHT do?

it not like any of the big musicians are short of a couple of £ is it? as far as im concerned i see all these 'musicians' with more dosh than they can spend so why the hell do they need more?

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Yay! Think I'll enter the CD duplicating business!

This must mean that it is now perfectly legal for me to buy a CD, some CDRs and a bulk-copier and sell the resulting copies of Metalica's* albums for a 50% markup over the media price? If every blank CD is paying for a license to copy, surely this will be legal by implication?

Unless they're planning on making blanks so expensive that this business plan won't work -- in which case the CDR will probably die as a backup medium and be replaced by cheaper flash-memory devices.

*Except I wouldn't copy Metallica's music of course -- not if they were getting any money for it, anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Ball-point pen levy

Can be used to violate copyright and infringe patents. Or, a dog levy, since they are often used to produce excrement left in public places. Of course kitchen knives can be used for MURDER, so there should be a hell of a levy on those.

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Pirate

Why doesn't blank paper come with a levy...?

...after all, people might use blank paper to photocopy books and other copyrighted materials. So don't authors^H^H^H^H publishers have a right to be compensated too?

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Liablity for payment of the levy

"It is also necessary to address the case of distance sales in order to avoid that liability for the payment of the private copying remuneration be extended to consumers."

After all, if the consumers were directly liable for paying the levy, they might become aware of its existence and realise how stupid it is. Better that they pay it indirectly, so they don't start trying to get it scrapped.

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Pirate

Levy

If there is an assumption that we are all going to use this media to copy songs/movies etc. and there has been a charge levied to alleviate the losses to the artists, then as far as I'm concerned this means I have just purchased a blanket licence with media to copy anything I damn well please.

You can't make something illegal and then make people pay for it by assuming we're all criminals without the inference that it is ok to do so because we've already paid our 'debt' to society with the levy.

Cake, eat it, hope it makes them sick.

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Anonymous Coward

Disgusting.

As soon as this levy is in place in the UK, i shall source my media from outside the EU.

The company i work for goes through hundreds of blank CD's and DVD's a month while developing software for our clients, and to have to pay a TAX to re-imburse people, when we are creating material, and not copying it is disgusting.

I guess now Brown has forced his way into office we may as well all bend over, and kiss it good bye, as the EU liberals take over our nation!

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feel free

to make as many copies of anything you want. You've already been found guilty, you've already been punished, so why not do it? Ever heard of double jeopardy?

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CD Levy in Canada

We've got the levy here, it is built in to the price of CDs.. people don't even know it exists. At the retail outlet I worked at, a spindle of 50 CDRs would be say, $25. A competitor would advertise the same bundle with out the levy for $12.50. But of course you had to pay the levy at the till.

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How do the artists get paid?

Presumably the organisation responsible for collecting this blank-media-artist-compensation levy, sends out regular cheques to all the artists whose work may have been copied. How do I get on their mailing list? I reckon I could knock out a couple of tunes - now that musical talent is no longer considered a prerequisite - and claim my share for my imagined losses.

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ASCAP (and I assume BMI and others)...

... Supposedly collect on behalf of the writers and performers. It was part of the ASCAP application. I'm expecting my 3 cents any time now...

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Unhappy

Gordon Brown has (@ Fran Taylor)

As I understand it in the UK, the law would get you again. The first time for 'thinking' your copying media and then if they get proof you are, you'll be fined again. That's on top of the inflated prices we here in the UK already pay.

A quick Amazon.com search shows 100 Blank DVD's for $28 (approx £14) Amazon.co.uk search shows 100 DVD's would have to be bought for £22 (approx $44)

Bend over everybody and think of England

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