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back to article Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Just this morning it appeared that the government had quietly dropped two of the five changes it wants to make to UK copyright law - but copyright minister Viscount Younger has just released a statement saying it "remains firmly committed to implementing each of these important exceptions". All five SIs are still listed on the …

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Bronze badge

So who gets the money?

As an occasional producer of content; songs, images, and written works; I wonder a little how the income from a levy might be distributed. I am, I suppose, in the same long tail as almost everyone who self-publishes through Kindle. It wouldn't astonish me if a levy system never paid anyone but a few well-known names. Amazon publishes the mean income from ebook self publishing, which is arithmetically valid and statistically worthless as a measure.

We already have this problem with the fees charged for the "performing right", covering the radio or TV playing in an office, waiting room, or workshop. Were I to perform one of my own songs, the fee would become due, and I would not see a penny of it.

Woody Guthrie rightly sang that, "Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen."

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Silver badge

Re: So who gets the money?

You go to the Big House for using a gun, but you get a Knighthood if you use a pan.

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Re: So who gets the money?

I thought the 'performing rights' fee was only due for playing of material from artists who had signed up to it (just about all commercially published artists). i.e. you can play your own compositions and sing your own lyrics if you haven't signed up to give the collection responsibility to the Performing Rights Society?

If I'm wrong, that is truly a crazy situation.

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Re: So who gets the money?

"You go to the Big House for using a gun, but you get a Knighthood if you use a pan."

Another triumph for Blair's vandalism. House of Lords used to be full of unelected fuddy duddies that (with a few exceptions) didn't do much interfering.

Now it's full of unelected fucky wits that are always trying to interfere. Off with all their heads, particularly Blair's plastic peers

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Re: So who gets the money?

"You go to the Big House for using a gun, but you get a Knighthood if you use a pan."

I'm pretty sure they stick you in the loony-bin for trying to rob someone with a pan.

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... they stick you in the loony-bin for trying to rob someone with a pan

Nah, you go to jail just like an ordinary robber.

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Re: So who gets the money?

>House of Lords used to be full of unelected fuddy duddies that (with a few exceptions) didn't do much

Was full of a bunch of unelected fuddy duddies that, by the miracle of social mobility, was gradually coming to represent average typical people.

Blairs triumph was to replace them with political appointees.

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Re: So who gets the money?

You're wrong, and it is truly crazy.

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Big Brother

Re: So who gets the money?

Put another way – you might think that it was becoming something actually representative and that steps were taken to “put that right”, but I couldn't possibly comment.

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Inquiring minds want to know?

So if I buy an MP3 player in France and pay the levy there then I can use it in the UK without paying anything?

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If you release material under a Creative Commons license, a user doesn't owe any collection fees... except in Germany where GEMA apparently has the right to collect fees (even though the material was given away by you), but are not obliged to pass them on to you.

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So let me get this straight...

Under the copying for personal use exemption, Europe says that if I buy a DVD or Blu-Ray and then digitise it (which is, as far as I know, the only way I can buy a movie or tv series and have it in a digital format I can play on any of my devices without having to worry about being online/signing into an account/other varied DRM crap) I'm expected to pay a levy for the privilege? Even though my only reason for buying the shiny disc is to rip - it will never see the inside of an actual DVD/BD player.

I'm all for content creators being compensated for their work (I wouldn't be buying the discs in the first place otherwise - although how much of that sale actually gets to the creative types is, I suspect, minimal), but this still smacks of charging me twice for the content.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So let me get this straight...

I agree with your point and upvoted accordingly. The only minor quibble is your reference to "Europe says". I just wanted to point out that this was voted on by your MEP and then approved by your government (Council of Ministers).

I think many of us don't give sufficient thought to what our MEPs do and nor do we question our government about things they agree to via the Council of Ministers.

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Re: So let me get this straight...

Actually, it's worse than that. The DVD and Blu-ray are DRMed: Under the EUCD, members are required to criminalise the distribution (Though not possession) of tools for breaking DRM schemes, and the distribution of previously-DRMed material with the DRM stripped.

That means that you are required to pay a levy for the right to make a personal use copy, but you still can't exercise your right unless someone is willing to commit a criminal offense by giving you a DRM circumvention tool. Fortunately such things are easily found online, where that law is rarely respected.

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In The UK We Already Pay A Levy

It's called the Television Licence Fee. For 2012/13 this amount was £3.656bn.

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Happy

Re: In The UK We Already Pay A Levy

You may - I don't, and quite legally.

This means you pay for me to watch iPlayer and listen to the radio.

Thanks

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Blank media/player taxes.

Well that obviously means that people in the countries affected by such taxes can copy as much as they like because they already paid for it, amirite?

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must be nice

At least the UK isn't changing its copyright solely to keep Mickey Mouse from going into the public domain. Pretty much eternal copyright is coming to the US. Corporatism fuck yeah!

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Murky?

"The status of the SI making a parody exception is murkier. The SI doesn't actually define what "parody" is - leaving the matter for the courts to decide - which will take years of lawsuits to clarify."

I believe that is how our (UKoGB&NI with a bit of give and take) legal system works at a fundamental level. Parliament make laws with a bit of leeway for interpretation and case law is developed around it.

It's simply churlish to suggest that Parliament is incapable of drafting a Law that "just works" with clear definitions and constraints.

It will only cost something like £100M in legal fees to generate a legal definition of the word "parody". Lots of starving barristers and lawyers will have been kept in gainful employment (provided they avoid pro bono and Legal Aid cases).

For the rest of us a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary (or Collins or whatever passes for your canonical speller 'n' definition weapon of choice) will do for a few quid.

Bargain!

Jon

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You have to throw the rights-holders something

Why?

As has been noted, if you distribute according to sales, you are by definition, giving money mostly to those who don't need it. Also remember that piracy (if that's your concern) and blank media are not really related unless you're talking about the industrial scale stuff from China - in which case taxing in the EU is a bit pointless. In fact, as soon as you look at tax, you have a problem with distribution because unlike most tax, the government isn't really spending the money on things it needs. All its doing is supporting an inadequate business model. If you can't determine a "right" distribution, there's little point collecting the tax. You've also got to ask yourself if what you are supporting is of social benefit. Do we want another Justin Beiber?

Why would you even bother thinking about media conversion and parody? I'm not sure that you should have to pay to make fun of people. If there is general mocking of the original, or the meaning of the original, it's probably fair game. If the police are taking an interest in whether I've burnt an itunes track to CD so I can play it in the car, they have way too much time on their hands. Just look away. If I have a stack of 1000 CD copies of the same track, I might not be converting for my own use. In that case, an investigation may be in order.

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