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Piracy The Media Your Rights Online

Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mighty-morphing-copyright-rangers dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this tidbit from PC World about Sabam's latest demand for copyright levies: "Sabam, the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers, has sued the country's three biggest ISPs, saying that they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to copyright protected materials online. Sabam wants the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees, because they profit from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials, the collecting organization said in a news release Tuesday." Sabam has previously demanded money from truckers for listening to the radio, and wanted to charge libraries royalties for reading to children.
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Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access

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  • Two-edged sword? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @11:46AM (#43601591)

    From what I remember, in Canada making copies CDs is legal because of the copyright levy on blank CDs. If the media companies get there way with this copyright levy for internet access, will that make all online copyright infringement legal?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @11:48AM (#43601611)

    If they are going to charge across the board and assume we are all pirates, perhaps we should get a discount when we do legally purchase something to offset this cost? I'm sure the Belgian Media group has done the math and with so few legal purchases they'd be more than happy to reimburse me every time I do it the right way.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @11:53AM (#43601663)

    Uhm... paying a protection racket never ends well. Should I quote a few opinions about a 10th century case?

  • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @11:58AM (#43601713)

    If they are going to charge across the board and assume we are all pirates, perhaps we should get a discount when we do legally purchase something to offset this cost? I'm sure the Belgian Media group has done the math and with so few legal purchases they'd be more than happy to reimburse me every time I do it the right way.

    Yes, the discount should be 100%. If they're going to assume we're pirates and build their kickback on the basis that we're getting their product for free, we should... get their product for free.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @12:03PM (#43601765)

    I have content online too. It's only fair to charge them copyright or get a recipcal agreement.

  • by fallen1 (230220) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @12:06PM (#43601779) Homepage

    While I'm sure they would LOVE for this to be their new business model as it allows them to profit without doing a fucking thing, I am equally sure the majority of Belgians would prefer a different business model for them - called "Out Of Business - Permanently".

    Or, perhaps, the Belgians would agree to the "tax" on their internet connections in exchange for the ability to consume any and all content they can reach using said internet connection. Including downloading any material copyrighted by those said organization covers without ever needing to worry about getting sued for infringement. Basically, since Belgians are paying for copyright through a "tax", they are now allowed unfettered consumption.

    And fuck Sabam if they want to have their cake and eat it to. Then all of the Belgians should reintroduce the "Out Of Business - Permanently" model to them. It is time for "the people" to take back control from the corporations. Maybe the Belgians can get the ball rolling?

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @12:29PM (#43601985)
    All the copyrighted materials that you download from Amazon or iTunes store or elsewhere, all those copyrighted materials that you download through streaming services like Pandora, or things like BBC iPlayer, are perfectly legal and paid for. Shouldn't they charge the post office when I order DVDs or CDs with copyright materials through mail?
  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @12:44PM (#43602189)
    I know what you mean, but maybe many others don't, so maybe instead of the 10th century story of Sweyn Forkbeard [wikipedia.org] and Æthelred the Unready,
    you'd better quote the more recent and accessible 1911 funny Rudyard Kipling poem [wikisource.org].

    P.S.: better hurry up and read the poem before it gets retro-actively put under copyright again!
  • by Kalvos (137750) <bathory@maltedmedia.com> on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:14PM (#43603211) Homepage

    I'm always of two minds about this issue. I oppose long copyright terms, draconian prosecutions, DRM and most of the lot of the law since the DMCA.. I also oppose work-for-hire exceptions as permitted under U.S. copyright law (mostly with respect to the transformation of the work into other media, its excerpting and repurposing without compensation).

    As a senior composer (yikes!), I made a societal deal five decades ago that my work would be granted a reasonable time to recoup the effort that went into its creation.

    The definition of 'reasonable' can be surprising to those whose work is immediate (pop, software, etc.). In my genres (what I call 'nonpop') that time can be very long indeed. Many pieces composed in the 1970s (I'd guess before most Slashdotters were born) are just getting their first performances now as the younger performers discover them. This is a long time -- and I have a lot of trouble believing that such work should drop into the commons even before its first performance. So I appreciate the extension of copyright that recognizes both the longer life of artists now and the longer time to market on certain kinds of art and music.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

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