back to article Copyright levy under EU spotlight

The European Commission is to consult on whether to change the current controversial surcharge on devices or storage media which can hold music or video. Called the copyright levy, the charge is applied in many EU countries and paid into a fund which pays out to artists thought to be the victim of music and film piracy. It is …

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Anonymous Coward

UK Government stands up to pigopolists shocker!

Makes a damn change. Since you can hardly buy read-only removeable media devices now...

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95 Years!?

Unless there are a lot of artists who wrote their first song at 5 and expect to be able to sell it until their 100th birthday, there is no need for a 95 year copyright period.

I think we can all guess who McCreevy sees himself working for, the twunt.

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Paris Hilton

Really getting hacked off

I am begining to take serious exception at the amount of time that Government and EU officials are spending working stooges such as the BPI et al.

There are slightly more important issues at hand such as (though not limited to) child poverty, crap hospitals, crap policing, people getting beaten on the streets by minors, firemen and paramedics getting attacked and numerous other incidents in which people that don't earn a fortune for doing feck all actually get their lives ruined.

Copyright issues should come under the heading "any other business" that is only tended to if there is time at the end of the day.

IMHO

</rant>

Paris to calm me down after the rant.

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Anonymous Coward

Pay twice if you have 2 ears

Why should people with one ear pay the same as people with 2? That's two copies of the works being listened to, vs one copy. The rights holder should receive TWICE the payment for people listening with both ears, and twice the royalties from stereo devices vs mono devices.

"EU nations can apply the levy or not, but if their copyright laws allow for private copying of already-bought material, such as from a legitimate CD to an MP3 player for example, then Europe's Copyright Directive demands that "adequate compensation" be made to rights holders."

I think this is incorrect. EUCD specifically says that the payment needed for an exception to copyright may be zero if the originals have been paid for. So private copying from your CD to your MP3 player does not represent a loss of sale and so EUCD does not REQUIRE a fee.

Even if it did represent a loss of sale, it's only necessary to charge a license fee IF THE NATIONAL LAW permits that as legal copying. So if they continue to say ripping CDs to your MP3 player is technically a copyright violation then there can't be a license for it.

But then I haven't read this act in detail for many years, so perhaps I missed something.

"(35) In certain cases of exceptions or limitations, rightholders should receive fair compensation to compensate them adequately for the use made of their protected works or other subject-matter. When determining the form, detailed arrangements and possible level of such fair compensation, account should be taken of the particular circumstances of each case. When evaluating these circumstances, a valuable criterion would be the possible harm to the rightholders resulting from the act in question. In cases where rightholders have already received payment in some other form, for instance as part of a licence fee, NO SPECIFIC OR SEPARATE PAYMENT MAY BE DUE. The level of fair compensation should take full account of the degree of use of technological protection measures referred to in this Directive. In certain situations where the prejudice to the rightholder would be minimal, no obligation for payment may arise."

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Thumb Up

"artists thought to be the victim of music and film piracy"

I haven't sold a single album in europe, it can only be because everyone has already copied them. Where do I apply?

I'm also concerned about sheet music theft, shouldn't the levy be expanded to paper?

I also have produce a brass piece performed with root vegetables, "Tuba by tuber" has also apparently failed to sell (read: been stolen by millions). Such levies should immediately be expanded to root vegetables as well.

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Pirate

Being in the creative arts myself

(a programmer, and copyright applies to code, so it must be "art", yes?) I would like to see this go ahead. I can then shakedown all my past employers for 95 years. Please remember, he said this was for the artists who are living longer because of increased lifespans. Corporations do not live, their existance does not depend on good nutrition and healthcare, so the companies cannot be the beneficiaries, it does't match with what he's saying!

In fact, I would say this is nowhere near good enough! When I'm 95, my house doesn't get reposessed, so why should my revenue stream from my employers dry up? How will my children live??!?!?!

Copyright should be PERMANENT and PERPETUAL. And it needs to be retroactively applied because else Cliff will have no money to retire on and will miss out on the benefits.

Of course, we'll have to find the estate of Shakespear, Mozart, Aristotle, Homer et al and give them the copyrights back. The Brothers Grimm's descendants will be due a nice fat paycheck from Disney for their stealing of their works in "Sleeping Beauty" et al. But it is only right, after all! Intellectual Property is EXACTLY LIKE real property and should remain with the people who created it FOREVER, to do otherwise would be scandalous and theft from these hardworking stiffs (literally in the case of Heath Ledger...).

Looking forward to the PROPER application of this law so I can be properly paid for my efforts, without the company CEO who achieved none of it leeching off MY works!!!

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cor
Alien

@JonB

"I'm also concerned about sheet music theft, shouldn't the levy be expanded to paper?"

Actually here in The Netherlands companies have to pay an annual levy on the ownership of photocopiers/fax machines that can copy paper works, for this very reason. There is a staggered tariff according to how many people work there..

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@Mark

"Being in the creative arts myself

(a programmer, and copyright applies to code, so it must be "art", yes?) I would like to see this go ahead. I can then shakedown all my past employers for 95 years."

While I appreciate the intended satire, the law in question relates to recorded works -- ie audio and video.

IIRC, computer code is currently classified under written works, which stipulates a period of life+70.

(Then of course there's the issue of works created in the course of an employee's normal work...)

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Thumb Up

Green light to piracy?

What with ISPs offering unlimited downloads and now a copyright license with every storage device. Hmm, £500GB for £75 in PC World = £0.75 per dvd image, £0.07 per CD image - bargain! How much is this license going to be?

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"Recorded works"

So what do you think a CD full of software is? And if works for hire aren't covered, then the artist will get even MORE screwed because they won't get the copyright (and therefore McCreavy was lying by saing the change is needed because human artists are living longer) and they won't get it for longer too. Remember, the artist is a member of the public too if the copyright is sold or given to another.

Paul McCartney could just about get to making a copy of his own songs at the moment, but if it goes to 95, he'll have to pay Michael "Got a five?" Jackson a fee to do it.

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Happy

Re: @JonB

"Actually here in The Netherlands companies have to pay an annual levy on the ownership of photocopiers/fax machines that can copy paper works, for this very reason. There is a staggered tariff according to how many people work there.."

Not really surprising when you consider how much the Dutch love getting stuff for 'free'.

When Napster got shut down it was the headline item on all the Dutch TV news programmes, FFS.

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Napster shut down

And the purchase figures were going up a lot until Napster was shut down.

The continuing "loss" in sales is partly due to a change to "Just in time" inventory. If stores keep less inventory, you'll sell fewer items to the stores.

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Coat

UK Copyright law Dates

Just to set the record straight its not just 95 years - see below:

Crackers isn't it when some lazy lovvie or muso gets virtual protection until time immemorial yet patents are only 20 years ? Record one song so you and your great grand kids can sit on their fat arses not doing anything until the Sun runs out of fuel ? Anyone ever think copyright is to allow the rich to stay rich for a very long time ?

Duration of copyright

The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states the duration as;

1. For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works

70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.

If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.

2. Sound Recordings and broadcasts

50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or,

if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released.

3. Films

70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies.

If the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year of creation, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year the film was first made available.

4. Typographical arrangement of published editions

25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published.

5. Broadcasts and cable programmes

50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made.

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Silver badge

Telling it like it is.

"Not really surprising when you consider how much the Dutch love getting stuff for 'free'.

When Napster got shut down it was the headline item on all the Dutch TV news programmes, FFS."

You obviously have no idea about what you have to Give to get stuff for "free", AC. Discover that and you will understand why the Dutch love it [......and IT too.]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JonB

>"levy on the ownership of photocopiers/fax machines that can copy paper works"

And printing presses?

There's actually a levy on the machines that print your money?

What about root vegetables?

In the Great Escape do they not fake official stamps by the use of cut out potatoes?

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Sam
Coat

I thought..

That Copyright Levy was a Jewish performing arts agent...

The camelhair, already.

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Alien

@amanfrommars

'what you have to Give to get stuff for "free"'

Go on then, enlighten us.

Say I want a "free" CD, what do I have to give?

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xjy
Alien

Eternal Copyright

Brilliant idea! Now suppose we backdate all the revenues owed, as we must, and charge reasonable interest on unpaid dues, as we must, then I think God stands to haul in a few billions for the Bible. Fortunately for me, I just registered an account in His name and have legit fully notarized Authority from Him to act as His financial agent. Of course We shall be taking action to recover moneys hijacked from Us by way of music, novels, works of art, films etc over the past couple of millennia.

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Alien

xjy

And of course, royalties for that most original of creations: us.

And we owe Him for each and every copy we've attempted to make.

That's a lot of back-payments...

Not me, though. See icon...

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Pirate

GREEEEEED

who said greed has limits? 50 is not enough, 95 years of copyright? are you unwell?

if you're unable to come up with anything else of value in 50 years, you don't need the extension, you need an original thought in your head.

these corporatists, they're crazy, and getting madder by the day.

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Stop

Lazy arses

I wish I could get paid for the same thing for 50 years afterwards, never mind 95. How exactly does this create a productive hard-working economy?

I'd say they should be brought DOWN to say, 20 years. Composers etc as well. Surely they're rich enough by then? Or is it that (shock horror) they might actually have to do another day's work?

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patents are based on an obsolete paradigm of innovation and creativity

Copyrights and patents are based on the idea that individuals must be rewarded for innovation because otherwise they would slack off instead of benefitting society.

First of all, this just doesn't hold nowadays since employees routinely sign over rights to all inventions in exchange for a health plan and the illusion of security. It's all too common for real innovation to be stifled by their organizations, yet the patents end up belonging to the companies anyway. The rise of the great research organizations in the forties pretty largely eclipsed the lone geniuses like Tesla, Steinmetz and Edison, though even in the day of the lone inventor, Tesla had to cut a deal with Westinghouse and Steinmetz with General Electric. Only the rare creator with business smarts kept control, like Henry Ford.

Secondly, real artists produce great art because it is almost as necessary for them as drawing breath. This also goes for great programmers and scientists.

For example: Richard Feynman said that he was able to buy a nice beach house with the check from the Nobel endowment, but it can't have influenced his love for physics one way or the other. Einstein and the other Nobels? Almost certainly the same.

As for Sir Paul, he probably would have flooded the world with "silly love songs" even if it only provided him and his family with a roof over their heads and enough food to keep body and soul together.

Although I'm not a great programmer (just a journeyman), I dread the day my employers find out I would still do this for less even if I could drive a truck for more.

Bottom line: Innovation comes from innovators, not committees and organizations. Oppenheimer's reward for giving us the fission bomb was being excluded from the fusion project. How much money did Englebart make off the mouse+GUI, or Nelson from hypertext? Ultimately, the innovators usually get left out in the cold because they are better creators than team players. The argument that patents are necessary to foster innovation is just a pious falsehood nurtured by corporate patent trolls.

Want to see innovation? Reduce patents to ten years or less. I want my flying car and jet pack before I'm too old to enjoy them.

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Add the levy...

And then let us share freely. Fair exchange.

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Bronze badge

Private copying

TFA suggests the levies compensate "media shifting". In my Nordic country it's meant to compensate private copying of another sort, it's legal to copy borrowed/rented movies and music. The idea that media shifting is a lost sale and should be compensated is a new one and a rotten one for that matter.

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Coat

What's the difference?

I like to go for walks in the country and in the past, I often took a portable CD player and two or three CDs - which I bought LEGALLY. Now that technology has moved on, instead of carrying a CD player and CDs, I now copy several LEGALLY obtained CDs to a tiny MP3 player and take that with me.

So why should I pay a levy for listening to material, which I already own and for which I have already paid, even though it has been transferred to a different format. What's the difference??

Thick coat please - it's cold out there..................

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Flame

Interesting legal angles..

Media levies certainly raise some interesting legal angles on P2P.

If a levy has already been paid for the use of blank media for music-copying purposes, then the media companies might find it very hard to argue in a Court of Law that downloading music to said media is illegal. After all, if as a supplier you charge for a service, then under Sale of Goods regulations you have by doing so made a contract to provide that service. The question of whether or not the payment is sufficient to cover the whole cost of the service doesn't come into it. You have made a mandatory charge for it, ergo you must by Law provide the service if the consumer demands it.

In principle, the media companies could torpedo their own efforts to control file-sharing if they push for levies.

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Bronze badge

@Anteaus

Unauthorized distribution is what makes p2p illegal in countries like mine. Downloading or copying for personal use is OK.

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