Blank Media Levy To Stick Around In Europe

from the for-legal-copying? dept

Plenty of countries have blank media levies, that are basically a tax on blank media in case people use that media to copy music or movies. The fees go back to an organization that's in charge of handing it out to the artists -- though, there are questions about how well they actually pay the artists. Over in Europe, apparently they've been considering a change to copyright laws in the EU that would remove copyright levies -- but the plan has been withdrawn from the European Commission, probably due to some pressure from those who don't want to see the levy go away. That's not too surprising. What's more interesting is the description of the levies -- which the story notes are only supposed to cover "legal copying" of content. It later notes that "illegal copying" is not covered by these levies. If that's the case, then what is actually the purpose of the levies? If it's legal to copy the content (for personal or backup reasons, for example) then why should there be compensation involved? The whole point of "legal copying" is that you've already paid what you need to pay and therefore it's perfectly fine to make the copy. Adding in the levy, then, is simply double paying for those who have actually paid for the content -- or forcing people who don't make copies to pay for content they don't own. No wonder some concerned industries are so against having it taken away...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Lucas McDonnell, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 10:23am

    How did levies ever seem like a good idea?

    As you've pointed out Mike, if copying/backing up purchased, copyrighted works is illegal, why is there a levy at all?

    I've personally never understood how the levy here in Canada seemed like a good idea to anyone. It doesn't stop anyone from copying anything, it just makes people pay for potentially infringing copyright. How can you punish people before they actually do something illegal?

     

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  2.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Well if...


    It later notes that "illegal copying" is not covered by these levies.

    illegal copying isnt covered but legal copying is, then how can you just tax all blank media? How do you distinguish illegal copying from legal? Doesn't that mean that those who use the blank medai for illegal copying are being unfairly forced to pay this levy?

    And what about those thay buy blank media for their own original content like photos and music (yeah there are some music creators that aren't owned by some big corporation)

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    I dont know but this is how i rationalize my piracy. There is an institutionalized tax built to compensate the rights holders. I'm covered. I gladly pay this insurance.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 11:05am

    i wanna buy blank media in europe, then file a class action lawsuit against the gov't and the orginization in charge of the collection and distribution of the levy.

    i'm sure here in the good ol' usofa we'd find a lawyer right quick that would do the work "pro-bono"

     

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  5.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    Don't support the cocks, even if they tax you.

    As someone with lots of (my own) data to back up and manage
    I am paying money to crooks like Sony and the RIAA for activities completely unrelated to their failing businesses.

    I therefore take this levy as a green light to make copies of commercial music to give away or even sell to others.
    And, if I really thought it would harm their businesses I would do it
    on a massive scale out of nothing more than spite towards these theives.

    However, to answer AC#3, the music coming from them is so devoid of any artistic merit that I wouldn't want to inflict it on anybody or do anything to promote its propagation. The music industry spouts such feculant toss these days it relies entirely on downloaders to distribute and advertise it's rubbish.

    The way to really hurt them is to ignore them. Encourage your friends to seek out some of the brilliant free music available on the internet available under Creative Commons license. Stuff that real musicians actually *want* you to download and share.

     

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  6.  
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    Nick, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    a Levy?

    I had no idea there was a Blank Media Levy. Disks are really cheap in the UK. If there is a Levy it cant be that much. Since we get taxed thru the ass on everything who cares!!!

     

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  7.  
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    AJ, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    LOL

    Its funny how they've managed to work both ends to get paid on this and in so doing, provide justification for us to rob them... irony at its best.

     

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  8.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    I love it...

    They make money off the music that is sold.

    They make money off the blank media that is sold.

    So what's next, trying to force hard drive manufactures to give them a cut?



    If they didn't treat customers like crooks then maybe some (but not all) would dowload.

     

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  9.  
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    Vincent Clement, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:24pm

    Re: I love it...

    So what's next, trying to force hard drive manufactures to give them a cut?

    Yes. And MP3 players. And cell phones. And memory cards. And anything that can be used to store music digitally.

     

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  10.  
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    Vincent Clement, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Well if...

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the RIAA and their international kin. What makes this world so unique is the lack of logic.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Re: How did levies ever seem like a good idea?

    How did it seem like a good idea to anyone?

    To the far left, there is no problem that can't be solved through a socialist welfare state, typically by taxes or handouts. :) In this case, therefore, they could either tax media and give nothing to industry, give to the industry and not raise any new taxes, or tax AND give handouts. Lefties love to tax, and people love unearned handouts, so, there you go! Thats how it seemed like a good idea. There was a problem, and the far left threw the only tools they know at it to fix it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: I love it...

    Why stop at storing music digitally?

    After that, brain implants to charge me 10 cents every time I hum the opening theme to the original Battlestar Galactica.

     

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  13.  
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    Vincent Clement, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Re: How did levies ever seem like a good idea?

    Rhetorical question. The new RIAA business model - and yes, they have a new model - is to assume that everyone is an infringer of copyright. You buy a music CD in a store or online? It will have copy protection to 'prevent' you from ripping as many songs or copies as your want. Download a song? It will have FUP (Fair Use Prevention aka DRM) and will tie that song to a single computer and single portable music player.

    Knowing that CDs are destructible, music companies now license the music on the CD to you, with limitations of course. If the CD becomes unplayable, tough shit, the licence only covers the content. Go buy a new CD. Some motor vehicles come with 5 year or 100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranties. Yet, if a single scratch renders your CD useless, you out of luck.

     

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  14.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Dec 13th, 2006 @ 9:11pm

    IS the levy charged on the disks when manufactured (like VAT, which is set to 17.5% percent of the slae price), or is is charegd at teh shop. If the latter, then I doubt many poeple would actually pay it, since most of my friends get the disks for free (one of us works in a computer shop, and gets them free, provided he dosn't take too many), and I would imagine that htis applies to many others. Also, what about businesses, since plenty of small businesses use DVDs as backups of the most critical info.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:34am

    it doesn't mattter where the tax is applied, it is just sent to the consumer. if at the production facility, they charge the distributer more, to cover it. the distrobuer chartes the store more because they had to pay the factory more. the store charges the consumer more because they had to pay the distrobuter because they had to pay the factory because they had to pay the tax.

    phew. that was fun.

    but it is funny that you pay a tax to cover legal copies, which you are allowed to have and don't harm the industry. however the tax doesn't cover the illegal copying, which DOES hurt the company. wow. just wow.

     

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