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Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain's Copyright Levy System

from the stopping-good-ideas,-stopping-bad-ideas dept

Techdirt has written about Spain’s new copyright law a couple of times. There, we concentrated on the “Google tax” that threatens the digital commons and open access in that country. But alongside this extremely foolish idea, there was another good one: getting rid of the anachronistic levy on recording devices that was supposed to “compensate” for private copying (as if any such compensation were needed), and paying collecting societies directly out of Spain’s state budget. Needless to say, it is such a good idea that the collecting societies hate it, and have appealed against the new system. As a result, the Spanish Supreme Court has referred two questions to the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ), given here in the translation on the IPKat blog:

A — Is a copyright levy system, that — taking as a basis the estimation of the actual damage — is financed through the State budget thus not making possible to guarantee that the costs of this compensation are only supported by the users of the private copies (as opposed to the non-users), compliant with Article 5(2)(b)b) of [EU] Directive 2001/29?

B — If the answer is in the affirmative, is it compliant with Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 that the total quantity set aside by the government for this compensation, which is calculated in view of the estimation of the actual damage, is set within [or conditioned by] the budget restrictions for each financial year?

So it looks like we will get another copyright judgment from the EUCJ, which has been increasingly called upon to give definitive rulings in this area. The IPKat notes that until the EUCJ decision is handed down, all of Spain’s new copyright law may be put on hold — no bad thing considering how awful much of it is.

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Comments on “Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain's Copyright Levy System”

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4 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

instead of this continuous changing of the EU laws and the ability of individual countries to still have their own, usually worse laws on top why can there not be simple, clear cut rules that are the same everywhere but take both sides equally into the argument? like everyone else, i know the various entertainment industries dont want anyone to have anything of theirs but still want everyone to pay excessive amounts for everything but there has to be a place where things can get settled. i also know like everyone else that it isn’t the money that the industries are worried about, it’s the loss of control that they cant handle and in trying to replace that, they think the best option is to get as many as possible booted off the internet and as equal number locked away for the most ridiculous of ‘crimes’ but all that is happening is this round and round thing that is getting nowhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“why can there not be simple, clear cut rules that are the same everywhere but take both sides equally into the argument?”

Well, in the U.S. the whole idea behind delegating copy protection laws from the states to the federal government was to, hopefully, do just this. Unfortunately, just like with state laws, it only took the side of those that bought laws and hence copy protection laws kept getting expanded and retroactively extended. The side of the public interest was completely ignored.

Richard (profile) says:

What about the previous system?

Is a copyright levy system, that — taking as a basis the estimation of the actual damage — is financed through the State budget thus not making possible to guarantee that the costs of this compensation are only supported by the users of the private copies (as opposed to the non-users), compliant with Article 5(2)(b)b) of [EU] Directive 2001/29?

Surely under the existing copyright levy system it is not “possible to guarantee that the costs of this compensation are only supported by the users of the private copies” since the costs are born by all users of the devices and media that are taxed regardless of whether they use their devices to make copies of (other people’s) copyrighted works or not.

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