Booming Nigeria To Adopt One Of The West's Dying Ideas: 'You Must Be A Criminal' Copyright Levies

from the don't-follow-us,-we're-lost dept

Recently, we noted that copyright levies in Europe are looking more and more anachronistic for the high-tech world. It seems that Nigeria has not noticed this, since Afro-IP points out to us that the Copyright (Levy of Materials) Order 2012 has been approved there, which will bring them in for a very wide range of goods:

The Director-General who disclosed this in Abuja, indicated that the materials regulated by the levy imposed by the new Copyright Order include storage media like Audio Cassettes, Mini Discs, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, SD Memory Cards, Video Cassettes, USB Flash drives, I-Pods and Photocopying Paper. Others are equipment and devices like Photocopying Machines, MP3 Players, Digital Juke box, Mobile Phones, CD recorders, DVD Recorders, Blu Ray Recorders, Computer External Hard Drives, Analogue Audio Recorders, Analogue Video Recorders, Personal Computers, Printing Plates, Printers/Printing Machines, Radio/TV Sets enabling recording, Camcorders and Decoders/Signal Receivers.

The money is going to the usual places:

“The Commission is expected to disburse the funds to beneficiaries who are essentially approved collective management organisations (CMOs) subject to retaining 10 per cent of the collected levy for administrative purposes of agencies that would be involved in the implementation of the scheme”, he stated, adding, “The Order also permits the Commission to retain 20 per cent of the fund for anti-piracy purposes; and 10 per cent for promotion of creativity”, he stated.

It’s particularly sad to see that exactly double the amount will be spent on “anti-piracy purposes” compared to the “promotion of creativity.” That not only seems precisely the wrong way round but is regrettable in a country where it was piracy that helped build the hugely-successful local film industry.

It’s obviously great to see African countries like Nigeria develop as an increasingly important player in the world of technology, but it’s depressing to see its politicians repeating the mistakes of the West in this area. Imposing retrogressive levies do little to help local artists, but are likely to hinder the development of local hardware industries because of the extra costs they impose on purchasers.

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Comments on “Booming Nigeria To Adopt One Of The West's Dying Ideas: 'You Must Be A Criminal' Copyright Levies”

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27 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Actually, it's a "pirates don't pay" tax on everyone else.

So, you’re ok with money being stolen from non-infringing people to pay for sales that simply never happend?

Should we tax you to prop pizza hut up because people bought those frozen store bought pizzas instead?

Funny how you’re outraged at people who fileshare and call them thieves but just shrug when actual theft happens? And not just any theft: theft approved by the goverment!

Intersesting morals you have there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Question

Well, that is the problem. It is easy to make one person very rich with a levy. The more people has to get part of the money, the less effect it will have. To find the people that “deserves” part of the money they device very questionable lists so “artists” get compensated accordingly. The result is a pyramid game where being at the top of the list will net you a significant amount of money on top of the money you already get from the sale (mostly sale lists are used). The lower tier, where most artists are will end up with very little compensation, that gets more than eaten by administration costs. It is like a reverse Robin Hood system basically.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Question

Clever, but it really is a question of perspective. Being forced to support a business you do not want to support could just as well be argued to be the artists fault. The legislation is unrelated to whether an artist goes solo or through a label.
Regarding the redistribution system, it is just the egg of the chicken that “music needs levies to compensate for lost sale from copyright exemptions”.

Subject: “compensation”
Tool: “levies”
Secondary tool: “levy industries”
Reason: “To compensate artists for copyright exemptions”
Critisism: “Distribution mechanics are bad and the compensation will not reach the targets”

Just taking out the levy industries changes absolutely nothing. It is the lack of a good distribution mechanic that makes the reason impossible to fulfill.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘it’s depressing to see its politicians repeating the mistakes of the West’

but to be expected, given the influence that is exerted here, as everywhere, by the US, the financial ‘incentives’ that are given to politicians and the lack of ‘being able to think for themselves’. if they were to worry more about what detrimental effect this sort of thing has on their own people and society, rather than on how much it will benefit the US entertainment industries, perhaps they would see sense, but i very much doubt it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Don’t think it is USA here tbh. Europe is the thiefdom of random levees and they are only increasing at the moment although several international companies are doing what they can to communicate with the leveetan politicians. Only problem is that the leveetan politicians cannot communicate with the rest of the world. They insist on speaking frensh and do not care for reason or numbers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I am unfamiliar with the US levy systems. What products are there copyright levies on in USA?
Europe has a tradition for this kind of nonsense and are generally very committed. Germany are so far out in this area that they don’t have a list of levies. Let litigation decide! Benelux has very long lists. Finland is well on the levy train as well. France… Well nobody really understands any of the french systems to be honest so it is up for grabs.

Denmark and Sweden have relatively short lists and good clarity. It is ironic since these countries are hailed as being the best at compensating creators!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What products are there copyright levies on in USA?

The US has a 2% tax on all home recording equipment and 3% on media. This includes tape, CDs, DVDs, etc.

There is a loophole for CDs/DVDs/etc., though: if the media is labelled for “data” storage, the tax is not applied. If you go to the CD aisle int he US, you’ll see some packages of CD labelled as “music” CDs and some as “data” CDs. The actual media is identical, but only the “music” CDs incur the tax.

Lord Binky says:

Isn’t this one of the signs that nigeria is moving towards a higher tier country? Instead of sitting around doing nothing and getting rich off the work of others through fear and violence, you sit around and do nothing getting rich off the work of others through a legal system that say you deserve to be rich and those who disagree are punish accordingly.

Anonymous Coward says:

'You Must Be A Criminal' Copyright Levies

repeating the mistakes of the West

Another one of those ?You Must Be A Criminal? ideas came up in the various proposals for a copyright ?small claims? court.

Responding to the Copyright Office’s First Notice of Inquiry, M. Tom Craig commented that there ought to be a tax to open a blog.

My suggestion is to do away with the arduous requirement to register work with the copyright office, and to copy French l?gislation to protect artists.

Many of my images are used illegally on Blogs. It is very hard to find them, let alone to chas? after them after the fact. Perhaps a better idea would be to charge a tax to when openning a blog, by the companies offering the blogs sites, and then to distribute the tax revenues to artists who qualify and who register each year, on a broad scale. Similar to the DACS program in the U.K. for photocopies, C.D.?s, and t?l?vision rights.

?A tax to when openning a blog… distribute the tax revenues to artists? !

M. Tom Craig claims to be ?an American Citizen living in France.?

?

Amusing. ? Very amusing.

Anonymous Coward says:

I always found it strange that Britain charges a ‘tax’ on CD-R and other blank media. It’s like they’re saying, “Everyone’s a pirate! We’re going to charge everyone to prop-up outdated business models!” In reality, it only raises prices, hurt innovation. and hurts the economy. I’m ashamed of world leaders. They have a limited outlook and can’t see past the end of their noses to see what the future might be like.

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