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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.
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Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access

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  • Oh yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @12:49PM (#43601627) Homepage

    As a Belgian ISP I would demand 90% of all profit Sabam makes them, since they enable them to sell digital goods..

    Greed, plain and pure.. all copyright groups should be shot.

  • sabam being trolled (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:07PM (#43601793)

    a few years back there was a troll program to defend the people's rights and they did a concert with fake artists in front of sabam hq. they were actually charged for the concert even though there was no such artist as "suzi wan" and "kimberly clark" or also "ken wood". they are actually made up brand names of toilet paper and blender equipment! it was quite amusing. there is a youtube video of it:

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:15PM (#43601857)
    I think you will run out of money before you run out of people to pay off. First it's a Belgian company demanding a tax. Next it will be a French company demanding a tax on Belgian ISPs, because hey, Belgians read French books too. And some Dutch trolls will want their cut for what the other half of Belgium reads. Then some Americans will want a piece of the action and all hell will break loose.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @01:29PM (#43601987)

    When an NGO (non-governmental organisation that is actually a disguised State operation, funded and given legal powers by the state) is created, it always follows the same pattern. At first the NGO follows the original mandate of its creation. Being, in reality, a state body, the NGO very quickly reaches its first set of goals. By this time, the heads of the NGO are very powerful people with massive salaries, and their ambitions are only just beginning. Now the NGO needs to massive expand its areas of operation to maximise the growth of power and profit accruing to its managers (and the politicians directly paid off by the NGO in quasi-legal and/or illicit deals).

    The more rules an NGO can implement, the more powerful and richer the NGO becomes. The 'media rights' groups in mostly non-Anglo-Saxon first world nations are some of the most powerful and corrupt NGOs on the planet. They directly enrich the pockets of leading politicians in those nations to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year. And, the more the politicians benefit, the greater the powers granted to these 'rights' bodies.

    The goal of any 'rights' body is to tap every citizen of that nation. The power that comes with such legally forced forms of 'taxation' is unthinkable, and overwhelms any activism that arises from concerned citizens who oppose such forms of taxation. All voters can do is complain, after all, whereas the NGO will promise to enrich every major politician that grants it extra powers.

    It gets worse. The massively corrupt NGO will spend a small part of its fortune on FUD, propaganda and PR campaigns. Whatever agenda it was originally created to push will be promoted in schools and in the mass media. Opponents will be depicted as cranks, criminals, and other forms of 'social criminals'.

    Democracy becomes utterly worthless when technology allows systems to arise that give corrupt politicians powerful tools to manipulate the voters, while increasing their own financial and power base. In the USA, for instance, the sheeple EXPECT any politician that rises to the top to magically earn hundreds of millions of dollars in their 'private' 'business' 'arrangements'.

    The ruthlessly filthy evil monsters that rule Belgium today still teach schoolchildren about the 'glories' of Belgium rule in Africa. The Belgium Holocaust in the Congo rivals the communist Holocausts in the USSR and China as the greatest Holocaust of the 20th Century. Belgium has a ruling class completely unrepentant of its Crimes against Humanity. Sabam is just an extension of this mindset.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:58PM (#43603047)
    Simple solution. Set some rate, say a 5% surcharge, which covers all copyright infringement. The copyright holders are then free to negotiate/litigate among themselves on how to divide up that 3%.

    If we can't get them to stop bothering us, maybe the best thing to do is to get them fighting each other so they're too busy to bother the rest of us.
  • Re:Two-edged sword? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EEPROMS ( 889169 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @04:25PM (#43603785)
    or the ISP's can copy what Google did in German, block all copyright material then watch the perpetrators of the legal action have a nervous break down when they realise they have just blown their own foot of with a 22mm canon. Media needs exposure to survive, even illegal downloaders assist in sales (most downloaders are also their biggest $$ customers). So when the media reps lose a major exposure channel trust me they start to hurt especially when they realise their advertising budget is now 5x higher to get the same income.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken