Blanket licensing in the Netherlands?

Two artist unions and the main consumer organization have just proposed to legalize file sharing based on a levy (article in English, see also the press release in Dutch) similar to the one on blank carriers for private copying. The levy would initially apply to hardware able to store and reproduce contents and later be transferred to Internet subscriptions. The legalization would concern uploads as well as downloads. It would exclude commercial distribution and the “commercial facilitation of P2P”. The initial fee would be around $ 5 per device, resulting in a total of “at least 30 millions €”1. There is no precision on the amount when the fee would apply to Internet subscriptions. Except for a mention of distribution 1/3 for authors, 1/3 for performers and 1/3 for producers, as for the home copying levies, there is no precision on measurement and reward functions (for instance function of the level of usage).

One reads with pleasure sentences such as (my translation):

Artists create their works for them to be listened to and viewed, not to forbid their usage and dissemination.

One can regret for this proposal to be situated so much in the continuity of private copying levies that are criticized, or that it does not contribute to the financing of new works, that it does not cover all media, and that it ignores proposals for the design of measurement systems and more equitable distribution of rewards. However, this is only a first step, that shows that the idea of statutory resource pooling and recognition of sharing is more alive than ever, and that many artists and content producers do not support the war on sharing.

This post is also available in: French

  1. For only music and moving image contents. []

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