Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Piracy The Media Your Rights Online

Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access 162

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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:00PM (#43601731)

    Why quote outdated 10th century case that's probably hard to apply directly when you have so many current cases [wikipedia.org]? In every case, the fees keep expanding with no reduction whatsoever in demands for stronger copyright protection.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:18PM (#43601889)

    TFA doesn't mention pirating. They're complaining that people now use iTunes, YouTube and Spotify, where the money goes directly to the artists or record labels, and not through the little media group that they set up.

  • No moral high ground (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kalvos ( 137750 ) <bathory@maltedmedia.com> on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:45PM (#43602205) Homepage

    There's no moral high ground for SABAM. I know Slashdot's readers don't much like ASCAP, but they're my licensing agency and part of my small income as a composer comes from those royalties. Problem is, SABAM has yet to pay (via ASCAP) a cent of the royalties owed me for performances in Belgium for the past eight years. (Same goes for SPA in Portugal, which has never forwarded any royalties due.) Until they actually turn over the royalties they collect in composers' names, they have no excuse to collect them in the first place.

    Before you engage in the screw-you comments, please know that I provide all my sheet music for free download and only expect the performance royalties in return. The performers and venues pay those royalties, but Belgium and Portugal just pocket the money.

  • Re:Two-edged sword? (Score:4, Informative)

    by FilmedInNoir ( 1392323 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:02PM (#43602419)
    No, P2P sharing is still illegal: http://www.musicbymailcanada.com/privcopy.html [musicbymailcanada.com]
    If you borrow your friend's CD and make a copy that's fine, but if you rip that CD (or MP3 from iTunes) and share that copy online, it's illegal.
    That's what they are talking about in the article above. Canada has sane laws in regards to copyright, but it's not free-for-all anarchy either.
  • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:15PM (#43602557)

    I don't think anyone except the trolls are going to reply with "screw you"-type comments. I think most people here respect the fact that you're trying to make a living doing what you like to do, and would root for your continued success.

    Now, if your continued success was contingent on you trampling over the mostly-dead body of civil rights, then things might turn hostile. But unless you're working for one of these groups, and in fact, you're an executive in one of them, I don't see how that could possibly be.

    As they say, you're welcome to make a living doing what you want to do, but you don't have the right to do so. And that applies to engineers, scientists, academia, and artists alike.

  • by Kalvos ( 137750 ) <bathory@maltedmedia.com> on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:59PM (#43603061) Homepage

    Not sure how much you know about ASCAP. Its stupidities (such as the Girl Scout fiasco) give them a bad name. They've been my licensing agency since 1988. They pass through 90% of the amount collected to me, and I have absolutely no paperwork except an annual tax statement. That 10% they keep is really worth it.

    Because of the genre of music I write, almost 100% of my royalties come from live peformances, not airplay. In the U.S., airplay royalties are by random checks of logs. That radio issue is not their doing. ASCAP and BMI are still operating under a 70-year-old court order allowing them to represent composers and authors and their publishers collectively. Every change has to go back to the court for approval. In other countries, every airplay generates royalties (such as these $.90 and $1.50 amounts I get from Sweden and Finland every three months). Although my music has been heard thousands of times on the air (and on cable -- the Discovery Channel's "Deadly Women" series includes a clip of my music), I've never been caught in a log check. Unlucky me.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"