Recently Digital Europe, representing some of the world’s largest technology and ICT companies, announced proposals to shift their private copying responsibilities and suggests that private copying compensation be moved to governments and other public funds.
European creators, represented by the organisations below, strongly oppose this suggestion which has no legal or other justification and is an attempt to shift the burden and ask public funds to pick up the bill.
It is difficult to see how such a move could be justified, especially in times of austerity and considering that most European countries already have functioning private copying schemes in place.
The disastrous effects of a “state-fund” system can be seen in Spain, where €5 million from the public budget is replacing the previous private copying scheme, slashing creators’ remuneration by over €110 million, while the prices of devices have not gone down.
The alternatives proposed by Digital Europe would cut the link between the act of making private copies and the payment of remuneration to rightholders, in contradiction with EU law and case-law, according to which it is for the natural persons benefitting from the exception to finally compensate rightholders for the private use made of their works.
The proposal comes at a time when former Commissioner Mr Vitorino is busy at work on a dialogue designed to improve how private copying works. Creators' organisations are involved in this dialogue, alongside technology and ICT companies.
Creators’ organisations are concerned that this latest development could be a sign that the whole mediation process is being hijacked and that technology and ICT companies seem to be walking away from improving the system.
• AEPO ARTIS - Association of European Performers’ Organisations
• Eurocopya – Federation of Producers’ Societies for Audiovisual Private Copying
• GESAC - European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers
• IMPALA - Independent Music Companies Association
• SAA - Society of Audiovisual Authors