Private copy system under scrutiny

By EDRi · June 7, 2006

The issue of the private copy remuneration system is becoming a subject of
debate for interest groups from all over the world. L’AEPO-ARTIS grouping
27 associations of artists of Europe, the International Federation of
Musicians and the International Federation of Actors took a stand in the
support of the present private copy levy system.

According to the artists associations, the present private copy system
“significantly supports the cultural domain” as “a flexible system combining
freedom for consumers and legitimate revenues for the copyright owners”
being “vital for interpreters in the exploitation of their interpretation”.
Replacing the fees on private copy, which brought income to the artists,
with DRM, which allows copying only within a system approved by its
producer, is profitable only for the industry selling DRM systems and not to
the interpreters who should be able to be compensated for copies of their

The Federation considers that technical protection measures against copying
applied to CDs, DVDs and online works are prejudicial both to consumers and
artists preventing the circulation of artistic creation and attacking
individual freedom.

The position of these associations comes at the moment when the topic of the
copyright levy reform is included in the European Commission Work Program
for 2006. The commission is concerned “that copyright levies are being
applied to digital equipment and media without due account being given to
the impact on new technologies and equipment especially the availability and
use of so called “digital rights management” technologies which can provide
alternative ways of compensating right-holders. Furthermore, there is a lack
of transparency about the application, collection and distribution of the
copyright levies to right-holders.”

On the other side of the debate is an alliance called Copyright Levies
Reform Alliance (CLRA) that was formed by IT, telecoms, electronics and
digital industry associations, to lobby for removal of the levies.

The copy protection technologies are also criticized by a recent report of
the UK All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG). The DRM report from
APIG looked at how copy protection systems restrict digital movies and music
and made several recommendations on the labelling regulations that should
tell consumers what they will and will not be able to do with digital
content that they purchase or on the prices charged for the same digital
content in different countries.

AEPO-ARTIS, FIA and FIM express their deep concern and clear opposition to
any restrictions of the remuneration system for private copying (31.05.2006)

The artists all over the world defend private copy (in French) (1.06.2006)

EC – Copyright levy reform

Coalition seeks to reform EU copyright levies (6.04.2006)

MPs in digital downloads warning (4.06.2006)

“Digital Rights Management” – Report of an Inquiry by the All Party Internet
Group (06.2006)