Berlin declaration on music flatrate

By EDRi · June 16, 2004

During the Wizards of OS conference in Berlin, from 10 to 12 June 2004, legal scientists and civil rights defenders jointly launched a declaration on collectively managed online rights. The declaration is a response to the call for comments on the Communication from the European Commission on the management of copyright and related rights in the internal market – COM(2004) 261. See also EDRI-gram 2.8, 21 April 2004. The declaration states that DRM and mass-prosecution of file-sharers are not acceptable to an open and equitable society and calls on the Commission to consider a music flatrate to ensure compensation without control.

“File-sharing teaches us a lesson that markets and lawmakers should listen to. It says that shipping bits from A to B has become such a low value service that Internet users effortlessly can provide it themselves. This is a result of the communications revolution that the EU has been supporting actively for the last decade. These developments could be good news to the content industries, but not if they are continue to base their business models on a proposition of exclusive service provisions that they no longer hold.”

In stead the Berlin declaration recommends the development of an alternative compensation system (ACS), or, as it has also been called in application to the music market, a music flatrate. “Rather than relying on ‘pay-per-use’ fees collected directly by commercial producers from end users based on pervasive use of DRM technologies, we recommend extending to the Internet the practice of indirect compensation through collecting societies.”

Berlin Declaration on Collectively Managed Online Rights: Compensation without Control (12.06.2004)

European Commission: more rules for collecting societies (21.04.2004)