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Czech Copyright Bill Undercuts Copyleft, Artists 282

Posted by Soulskill
from the czech-please dept.
Andorin writes "Earlier this month a copy of a draft of the Czech Republic's new Copyright Act [Czech PDF] was leaked to Pirate News. Included among several disturbing provisions are new regulations for 'public licenses' such as Creative Commons licenses and the GPL/BSD licenses. The amendment essentially requires that an artist wishing to use a public license must notify the administrator of a collecting agency, and must prove that they created the work in question. This goes against one of the strengths of Creative Commons and other licenses, namely the ease with which they can be applied. Additionally, collecting agencies will have increased jurisdiction over copylefted and orphaned works. ZeroPaid covers the story, noting that the amendment also reduces the royalties which artists receive from libraries by 40%, with that money instead going directly to publishers."
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Czech Copyright Bill Undercuts Copyleft, Artists

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @10:30AM (#33392392)

    Currently the Czech law requires you to pay royalties to collecting agencies regardless of the fact that you are not a member of any such agency and therefore will never get any money of them back.
    It doesn't matter that you are only playing music composed by you, you are still obliged to pay.

  • Re:S peechless (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @10:41AM (#33392530)

    Standard issue in the dysfunctional state of Czechs (according to Wikipedia, of turkic origins, not slavs). Highest prices of every day items in the EU, highest prices of communication services in the EU, highest prices of energy & fuels in the EU. Country ruled by economic mafia for good 20 years, whose biggest thieft and a man with obvious blood on his hands, callous Kalousek, has been voted by Brussel's byrocrats as "the best finance minister in EU." That's not a spit in the eye, that's kung-fu kick in the eye! And it will be worse. (P.S.: Even the iPhone costs there 100 euro more per month with Vodafone plan than anywhere else in the EU, with Vodafone plan.)
    Czech Republic = a black cancer in the hart of EU, comparable only with Kosovo jihadist mafia.

    Pavel007, Amsterdam.

  • Re:Speechless (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @10:56AM (#33392720)

    Excuse me... Free has little to do with price. And in the case of GPL and LGPL, the price is as follows: "If you use the software you have to provide the source and any possible modifications you might have made to the people you sold/gave the software to." That's the price. Whether you view it as worth nothing or priceless all is in whether you're just a user or a developer.

  • Re:Speechless (Score:2, Informative)

    by next_ghost (1868792) on Friday August 27, 2010 @11:21AM (#33393068)
    Yes, there are barriers to entry. The law specifically states that each collecting society has to register with the Ministry of Culture and once it's registered, it has complete monopoly over its assigned area of culture. For example, OSA has monopoly over sheet music and lyrics, Integram has monopoly over music recordings, DILIA has monopoly over literature etc. No other collecting society can register for these areas until these cancel their registration.
  • by next_ghost (1868792) on Friday August 27, 2010 @11:35AM (#33393240)
    The short answer: You don't. The long answer: The law states that there can by only one collecting agency registered for each area of culture at any given time. Since most of what can be registered already is registered, we're out of luck here.
  • by next_ghost (1868792) on Friday August 27, 2010 @11:43AM (#33393338)
    No, it's not. The registration is required in order to prevent the collecting societies from collecting royalties on your behalf. Since collecting societies have a monopoly, they don't need any contract to collect royalties. This doesn't affect the existence of your copyright, only what you can do with it.
  • Re:Speechless (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @11:48AM (#33393410)

    ... he who has the gold makes the rules. it shouldn't be true ... but it is. greedy, small-minded, short-sighted, egocentric people direct the world ... not visionaries who care about more than themselves.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @11:58AM (#33393542)

    The Czech minister of culture denied that the text is not actually authentic in recent interview (http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilani/210411058080819-hyde-park-ct24/) on CT24 (state-run news channel). He also promised that if there was such a law in the making, there would be a wide public discussion about it.

    My opinion is he's being dishonest at best. Consider this: when the Czech Pirate Party asked the Czech Ministry of Culture for the draft, the ministry flatly refused to given them any information. Note that they didn't tell them there was no such law or that they have no information to give them, they actually refused to provide any information about it. According to the Czech Pirate Party, that was a violation of the Constitution of the Czech Republic and several Czech laws, but no one really cares (except for the Czech pirates, but nobody cares for them either - in Czech, they have the reputation of a modern day Mániky - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mánika).

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday August 27, 2010 @12:19PM (#33393826)
    That assumes that 18th century psychology about the incredibly complex dynamics of motivation for creative activity was accurate, with a fair amount of evidence suggesting otherwise, such as the following article. http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,709761,00.html [spiegel.de] Also, if we reasonably suggest the abolition of copyright and actually get someone to listen, the legislators might pick a happy medium such as a reasonably short term and expansive fair use
  • Re:Speechless (Score:3, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Friday August 27, 2010 @12:23PM (#33393874) Journal

    ... but rather the stipulation under law changing the royalty schema from artist to publisher.

    Except that if the comment at the bottom of that blog is correct, that's not what has happened. In effect, they increased the artists' royalties by 20% and added an additional publisher royalty equal to 2/3rds of the newly increased author's royalty.

    Previous royalty for the author: 0.5 CZK. New royalty 1.0 CZK. Author's part: .6 CZK. Publisher's part: .4 CZK.

    But saying that they've increased the author's royalty by 20% and added a publisher royalty isn't as headline-grabbing as saying that they've reduced the percentage of the royalty that authors get.... Why does all the news have to be about twisting reality to create more shocking headlines? A lie of egregious omission is still a lie.

  • by Shoe Puppet (1557239) on Friday August 27, 2010 @01:34PM (#33394882)

    Unless it was butchered beyond recognition in the English translation, the article doesn't say that authors were paid better than in England at the time but I guess it is possible.

    Here's the part that says that (my quick & dirty translation):

    The German knowledge initiative led to a curious stituation which sure enough nobody noticed at this time, though: Sigismund Hermbstädt, a long-forgotten professor of chemistry and pharmacy from Berlin, earned a higher royalty with his work "Fundamentals of Leather Work" than the British author Mary Shelley with her famous horror novel "Frankenstein"

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller

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