While US copyright law has its problems, one path we have not gone down that many other countries have is the concept of copyright levies on various technologies. These taxes on various technologies, consumer electronics and media storage devices are supposed to "compensate" for any copyright infringement that is done on that equipment (though, it should be noted that, even with these levies, such infringement is still illegal). Think of it as a "you simply must
be a criminal" tax. In the US, the entertainment industry has mostly fought against these levies fearing (perhaps reasonably) that they would lead people to think that such copying was, in fact, legal -- or much, much worse, convince a court of that fact (by saying "hey, I paid for it via this levy, thus I should be able to do it.") Still, they do exist in many places, and they generally serve to harm the consumer electronics players by making their devices significantly more expensive. In some cases, the vast majority of the price of certain products is made up of the levy
, rather than the price of the product.
Over in Europe, they've been fighting about this for years. Back in 2006 there was a proposal
to get rid of these levies, but it got shot down due to intense pressure from the collections societies who make a ton of money from them. In 2008, there was even an effort to expand these levies
points us to the news that in the latest "negotiations" around these levies in Europe, the consumer electronics companies have given up trying to reason with the collections societies
, and instead are looking to the EU to put in place some regulations to at least get rid of the worst abuses of such levies that massively hold back the ability of consumer electronics companies to sell products at a reasonable price.