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EU Court Asked To Rule On Private Copying

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the off-with-their-heads dept.

EU 157

Techmeology writes "The Dutch Supreme Court has asked the European Court of Justice to decide whether downloading copyrighted material for personal use — even from illegal sources — is legal. At the heart of the debate is whether the European Copyright Directive requires that any new legal copy of material must have originated from a copy that is itself legal. The case tests the law in the Netherlands, where copyright holders are granted a levy on blank media in exchange for the legalization of private copying." In the Netherlands, it is already legal to download from illegal sources. But EU law might conflict and trump that.

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157 comments

Downloading, or uploading? (4, Insightful)

ais523 (1172701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459099)

I thought that it was much more common for people to go after uploaders than downloaders (including people uploading as part of a torrent, rather than leaching), because it was much clearer that copyright infringement was happening on uploads. For a download, you have the issue of when the copy was created and who did it.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459881)

All the ads say "don't illegally download". All the newspaper coverage says "downloaders targeted" But I've yet to see a single case of a downloader who didn't also upload being taken to court. There are some close in France and New Zealand with the 3-strikes laws that are not criminal laws, but all the "downloaders" sued in the US were sued for uploading only.

In practice, downloading is legal (except where uploading while downloading).

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460201)

I am surprised the RIAA laws have not been weaponized yet.

Got some politician you do not like? See if any of his youngin's computers have been compromised. If you can pwn it for a few minutes, you can start some illegal download/upload activity. A good knowledge of the RIAA and BSA honeypots will help your target step in the poo real good.

Sit back and watch the fun.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (4, Insightful)

Crayon Kid (700279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461231)

You don't even have to go that far. Criminalizing downloading is insane. It doesn't make sense, it cannot work. Example: someone posts a picture of their cat on any website, without mentioning distribution terms, anybody who downloads that picture is automatically at fault.

This is why I suspect this EU thing is not a blanket "let's get all downloaders" thing, but a rather more subtle approach.

You have to understand that in EU, not just in Netherlands but many countries, downloading is currently legal, period. What the law punishes is distribution ie. making available, uploading etc. But you can't go after uploaders who use protocols like BitTorrent, because any of them taken individually (usually) only upload pieces of files, not entire files. In order to be able to prosecute anybody for one download you'd have to keep track of all the IP's that provided all the file pieces, then identify the people behind them, then prove intent and knowledge of what they were doing, then prove collusion to break the law.

Given the privacy laws of most EU countries this is simply impossible. It won't even get past identifying people behind IP's, let alone seizing evidence to prove intent, knowledge and collusion. It's a chicken and egg problem: you need identities and evidence to prove they did something wrong, but you can't get identities and evidence until you prove it.

So I expect that this thing is about relaxing copyright and/or privacy laws so it allows media companies to get warrants for people that engage in certain "obvious" file sharing activities, on the downloading side, so they can identify them and get evidence. Even so, I'm not 100% sure how it would work. Simple participation in a BT swarm doesn't mean you get even a single file, and if you do you still have to prove intent and knowledge before you get your warrant. And if they hope to get warrants without proof... that opens a very big can of worms.

Bittorrent uploading illegal in NL (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461747)

[...] you can't go after uploaders who use protocols like BitTorrent, because any of them taken individually (usually) only upload pieces of files, not entire files.

Slight correction in the case of NL: This is still illegal.
http://www.iusmentis.com/auteursrecht/inbreuk-bittorrent-torrents/ [iusmentis.com]
In essence, the fact that you're (presumably) only uploading small parts of the work, rather than the whole work, doesn't matter. The only situation in which you're allowed to distribute fragments of a work is when you're using it as a citation. Since the fragment isn't discussed or criticized, laws governing the use of citation don't apply.

He then goes on to explain that, potentially, you might get a lesser sentence if you only uploaded two fragments (as opposed to many more, presumably), and that anybody offering the .torrent file itself is not making a copy of the work. Nevertheless, if you offer enough of them you can still be hit with a 'structural facilitation' of copyright infringement, etc.

I don't recall there being cases about uploaders getting chased down in NL, despite the commonplace bittorrenting, though - they tend to go after the indexing/hosting sites and sometimes the ISPs.

Re:Bittorrent uploading illegal in NL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41462331)

So, what will the punishment be for uploading only two fragments?

One fragment being "1" and the other fragment being "0"... These fragments are a part the digital representation of every copyrighted song known to man.

Or is there a lower limit after which fragments aren't copyrightable after all?

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (2)

xelah (176252) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462305)

You don't even have to go that far. Criminalizing downloading is insane. It doesn't make sense, it cannot work. Example: someone posts a picture of their cat on any website, without mentioning distribution terms, anybody who downloads that picture is automatically at fault.

Erm, why? It's quite obvious that whoever uploaded their picture intended it to be available to the public. There's an implied licence. That's entirely different to downloading something which you know is created by someone for commercial gain, you know is sold by them for money, and doing so from a source you know to be illicit.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460425)

The problem is of course that most downloaders also upload and hence break the law due to the technology used. And if it wasn't used download speeds would suck.

Here in Sweden we also pay a fee for being allowed to privately copy things for external harddrives, flash memory and MP3 players. But of course more or less no-one copies things that way. The Internet is the easy way to fetch your copy.

Even more so with all the DRM I think it's rather easy to argue that the industry doesn't even let me copy things since they are preventing it so why should I have to pay for something they don't let me do?

Not that I get why you should pay a fee at random anyway. It's not like the value of 1 TB of MP3s is the same as 1 TB of perfect blurayrips for instance.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (1)

grahamm (8844) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460765)

If the law (in whatever jurisdiction) gives you the right to make the copy (rather than just making it not illegal), then surely any DRM that prevents you from exercising that right should be illegal. Digital Rights Management needs to 'grow up' so that it enforces the rights of both the copyright owner and the owner of the individual copy.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (4, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460827)

Apparently you didn't get the memo... The various recording industries have spent billions globally to ensure that you have no rights, save the right to pay them every time you eye see's and image or your ear hears a second or more of their proprietary IP. Any laws to the contrary are hurdles to be overcome with the proper application of wealth and political manipulation. Fair use in the minds of these men is, you use it you pay any time, every time. Hope that clears up any questions you may have had.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461043)

not to mention that you also pay if you *don't* use it (blank media levy), because you just might, possibly.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461679)

Typically these laws are written in the form that you are 'allowed' to make a copy, thus giving you no specific right to the ability or capability of making said copy - which means that the rights holder can make it as difficult as they want for you to make that copy.
If that means you have to hire a bunch of artists to copy a movie frame by frame by oil painting on canvas, and an orchestra and voice artists to record the movie's sound on an 8 track system, then that sucks for you - but at the same, the rights holder couldn't complain since you're allowed to make that copy.

Even if it says you have the right to make a copy I think the above largely applies. The laws tend not to say anything about how that copy is made and how good the result is.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (2)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461759)

All the ads say "don't illegally download". All the newspaper coverage says "downloaders targeted" But I've yet to see a single case of a downloader who didn't also upload being taken to court.

Right on the spot. By campaigning against "TEH DOWNLOADERZ", they try to eleminate the biding side of the "market" and of course try to make consumers "feel bad" for what is most likely perfectly legal in their country (i.e. in Germany, downloading isn't illegal, uploading is). But as most people aren't computer-literate enough to knw that a torrent client is both an up- and download tool, they're easy prey for the content rights owners.

As for the blank media levy (and other fees), here's an online calculator [bytefiction.com] (German, also based on German laws & regulations) showing you how much one pays by simply buying some devices. Even if you don't speak German, the sheer number of items and the attached price tag will give an idea of just how much you pay to content rights holders before you've even listened to one song.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459989)

For downloads the issue is for the individual trying to figure out with all the hundreds of billions of definable individual definable bits of copyrighted at hundreds of millions of locations on the internet, which they are allowed to download and which they are not allowed to download. Downloaders have to rely on the copyright integrity of the people providing the content. All copyrighted content being treated equally, whether a single photo, an essay, a poem, a news item or a video, and every possible web site even personal web sites given the benefit of the doubt otherwise requiring every uploader to hold a licence and all content to be vetted, even people who own a digital phone.

So it is looking more and more like the creation of biased copyright laws, where certain corporations are legally able to force the government to protect all of the corporations content at the taxpayers expense, whilst that same corporation is entitled to 'steal' (actually steal as in claim ownership of that content and deny the content creator ownership, not copying) everyone else's content.

So copying is not copying. Copying as distorted in the silencing of free speech upon the accusation of copying with absolutely no repercussions for repeated false accusations. All content comes under attack, every video, every image and every written piece.

Talking about attacks on free speech. There are snippets about the free speech being of questionable value in main-stream-media starting to float about. About it's threat to the social good and how it should be controlled. This has all the corporate stink of for profit corporate lies should be protected and actual 'FREE' free speech, you that unprofitable stuff called the truth, needs to be controlled because of it's negative impact on corporate profits. Those Muslims in all their rage only managed to burn down one bloody McDonalds out of 33,247. The whole thing is starting to stink of a surreptitious attack on free speech.

Re:Downloading, or uploading? (1)

Fr33z0r (621949) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462011)

It doesn't make financial sense to target downloaders, with the people making copyright material available via bittorrent for instance, you can claim astronomical damages because that initial infringement results in exponentially more infringements. The damages done by downloading alone are easily quantifiable, and they're so low it's not worth pulling the offenders into court. It's the difference between "200 people downloaded a track from the defendant, and went on to share that track with hundreds more each, so the defendant's action has caused us hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lost sales" and "the defendant downloaded our track without paying, this action cost us less than a buck"

Don't expect to lose the tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459117)

At this point the tax is there to compensate the artists for the illegal copies that are being made on the blank media. Eventually, it will be decided that such copying is no longer allowed under the current or new copyright laws. At that point, you'd expect that the tax would be dropped since it couldn't be used to legitimately compensate the artists for copied works but they'll just re-purpose the tax into another area, such as paying towards prosecuting those who infringe the copyrights.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459147)

Canada?

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459209)

We (Canadians) pay tax on blank media therefore any DMCA or ACTA type legislation should NOT be able to be applied to us.
Any lawmakers attempting to bring such legislation to Canada should also be taserd.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459993)

We have some of the same taxes in the US. Ever wander what was so special about movie DVDs and Music DVDs that made them more expensive then their data counterparts? And no, the Best Buy floor walker excuse of the music CDs being manufactured to provide better audio is not a valid reason.

The blank media tax does not make distributing copyright protected materials legal by any stretch. DMCA type legislation would still fit in there.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (3, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459255)

Are you sure? Last I heard the RIAA was simply pocketing the money, and using it to fuel lawsuits. As far as I know, the actual artists get dick. Raw dick. Up the ass.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459483)

Ya, the artists get nothing. But that does not change the laws effects on the rest of us.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459613)

But if they're signed to an RIAA label, they should be used to it.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459633)

As far as I know, the actual artists get dick. Raw dick. Up the ass.

You're incorrect. Artists get DRM-enabled dick up the ass. Could you imagine what the availability of raw dick would do to dick sales?!

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460869)

NEW! And IMPROVED!!! DRM enabled DICK! But you can call it D-Squared! Your ass will thank you later... much later. And when its not reaming you, it can be used to unclog drains, dig post holes, and break concrete for those do-it-yourself backyard projects. D^2, for a pain in the ass that ends at your tonsils.

Re:Don't expect to lose the tax (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459891)

Like the phone tax in the US for repaying war debt that lasted 100 years past the end of the war debt? It'll never go away.

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459119)

So now you have to pay the media companies for blanks but are not allowed to use them. EU copyright law trumps Netherlands law. Of course it does.

Why do you think powerful people wanted an EU in the first place? It wasn't for a warm feeling of friendship and togetherness.

Re:Obviously (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459315)

Why do you think powerful people wanted an EU in the first place? It wasn't for a warm feeling of friendship and togetherness.

History just called and wants credit:

Why do you think powerful people wanted a stronger federal government to replace the Articles of Confederation in the first place? It wasn't for a warm feeling of friendship and togetherness.
- Anonymous Pamphleteer, United States, circa 1791

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461011)

I'm from europe - where history comes from - and your little slice of US memorabilia is perhaps "local history" to you, but far from interesting or memorable on a global scale.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460509)

The powerful, back room people want the EU for same reason they are pushing for a North American Union that would blur the lines between the US, Canada and Mexico, then the Oceania Union that would join everything around Australia, and so on until they have everyone as a member of a very small number of very closely linked unions that would easily fall into a single world government. Start at the Club of Rome and follow it from there.

Interestingly, this is happening at the same time that people are beginning to feel that the large unions they are a part of, the EU, the US, Canada, etc do not really serve their local interests any longer and are considering breaking off these larger unions into smaller regions with governments that have closer ties to the regions.

Trumping laws (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459251)

I can't speak for The Netherlands, but in the United States, there are certain things that "International Law" cannot do in the United States.

As a basic rule (there are no doubt exceptions), if Congress can't do it by law, the President and the Senate can't do it by treaty.

As an obvious and trivial example, no treaty in the world nor any international body who, by existing treaty, has the power to make "International law," can raise the voting age in America higher than 18. Any treaty with such a stipulation or any treaty which required honoring any international rule-making body's rule that 18 year olds could not vote until they were older would be un-constitutional and legally unenforceable inside the USA. If some other country wanted to enforce it, they could impose sanctions or declare war if they wished, but no US court would uphold such a rule or allow it to be enforced by judicial or domestic executive action.

Re:Trumping laws (2, Informative)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459353)

I can't speak for The Netherlands, but in the United States, there are certain things that "International Law" cannot do in the United States.

As a basic rule (there are no doubt exceptions), if Congress can't do it by law, the President and the Senate can't do it by treaty.

Unfortunately for us UE citizen, we completely wrecked people sovereignty when building UE. Many key policies are in the hands of the UE commission or the UE council, without much control left on what they do.

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459659)

I'm a bit concerned about the path Europe is taking toward tighter integration. All of the other examples of countries with multiple cultures and languages face ongoing tensions that never fade so long as the cultural boundaries exist. Cultural boundaries prevent full circulation of memes that, as they spread, instil a sort of zeitgeist to national discourse that reduce some of the disagreement about how society should proceed. Ideas, and worries as well, float around within a culture, and other distinct cultures have other ideas and worries.

Translation of media may help with this, but I'm not sure how much. Some of this goes beyond media and comes from your parents and your schools and in turn the things that influenced them.

I'm left wondering if I may live to see a civil war in Europe. It sounds silly, but people thought international trade would prevent a war against major nations at the turn of the 20th century. Maybe it will be different now that there are nukes which, theoretically, should prevent anyone from matching an army into a major nation. Or maybe we'll just see warfare manifest in other ways.

Captcha is "worldly".

Re:Trumping laws (3, Interesting)

fearofcarpet (654438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460207)

I can't speak for The Netherlands, but in the United States, there are certain things that "International Law" cannot do in the United States.

As a basic rule (there are no doubt exceptions), if Congress can't do it by law, the President and the Senate can't do it by treaty.

Unfortunately for us UE citizen, we completely wrecked people sovereignty when building UE. Many key policies are in the hands of the UE commission or the UE council, without much control left on what they do.

It is true that Brussels can impose laws on the EU, but it is hardly "wrecking sovereignty," particularly in the Netherlands which has benefited tremendously from environmental laws that regulate upstream pollution in other sovereign nations and the open borders that have lead to its current trade surplus. Without the EU, Germany and France could dump waste in the Rhine and the Maas at their borders and impose tariffs on Dutch goods and the Netherlands would just have to deal with it.

The Dutch government (and the other EU member states) voted to follow EU law (the EU Commission is not an unelected dictatorship) in this matter and therefore has to make sure that its own laws comply--if member states could cherry-pick which laws to follow, the EU would not function. And you can argue about the Euro all you like, but modern Europe simply wouldn't be possible without a governing body like the EU to regulate trade, enforce open borders, create uniform environmental policies, provide research funding, oversee oil and gas distribution, ensure fair use of airspace, launch satellites, etc. It has flaws, sure, and some of the silly regulations in the name of uniformity are, well, silly, but you can't seriously believe that tiny countries like the Benelux, Ireland, and Estonia would have been more prosperous on their own.

Re:Trumping laws (3, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460939)

Indeed, in most of the EU international treaties 'in principle' override national laws.
Especially so in The Netherlands where modern international law was more or less invented by Hugo de Groot [wikipedia.org] , there is a reason the International Court of Justice is based here.
International treaties were essential for this small country to become a major trading nation.
Until now we've had a strong vestige in our law to only go after those 'making available' copyrighted work while private use of such copies has been widely accepted.
It's going to be interesting to see the outcome of this EU court case.

Re:Trumping laws (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462135)

(...) it is hardly "wrecking sovereignty," particularly in the Netherlands which has benefited tremendously from environmental laws that regulate upstream pollution

I agree UE enforced environmental laws, which is good. But you did not made a point on people sovereignty, here. The UE building process is destroying people sovereignty that exist in member states without ever recreating it at the UE level, and the goal is to enforce some policies. Some like environmental rules sounds good to me. Others, like neoliberalism, do not. The problem is that citizen cannot have their words on theses policies anymore

but modern Europe simply wouldn't be possible without a governing body like the EU

There are modern european countries that are not part of the UE: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland. Their existence is not threatened by this situation. The UE is not the only way to organize collaboration between states.

Re:Trumping laws (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459359)

I can't speak for The Netherlands, but in the United States, there are certain things that "International Law" cannot do in the United States.

As a basic rule (there are no doubt exceptions), if Congress can't do it by law, the President and the Senate can't do it by treaty.

As an obvious and trivial example, no treaty in the world nor any international body who, by existing treaty, has the power to make "International law," can raise the voting age in America higher than 18. Any treaty with such a stipulation or any treaty which required honoring any international rule-making body's rule that 18 year olds could not vote until they were older would be un-constitutional and legally unenforceable inside the USA. If some other country wanted to enforce it, they could impose sanctions or declare war if they wished, but no US court would uphold such a rule or allow it to be enforced by judicial or domestic executive action.

If the US voluntarily amends its constitution to specifically allow an international body to take precedence over the US laws, then yes it can. The EU countries have voluntarily allowed EU law to take precedence, and are now bound by it.

Re:Trumping laws (2)

mdragan (1166333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461067)

Plus, the parent's analogy is not correct. The correct one would be: can federal institutions of the United States of America create laws that apply to the member States?

Re:Trumping laws (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461453)

"and are now bound by it."

They can still leave the EU at any time they want and then not be bound by it too. They can even say we're leaving unless we get renegotiation on this issue if they want to try and change something desperately also.

As you say they're only bound by it so much and so long as they agree to be bound by it, no more, no less.

Re:Trumping laws (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462183)

"and are now bound by it."

should have read: and have now bounded their citizens by it.

Re:Trumping laws (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462227)

Yet their citizens determine the government, and hence whether they are bound by it...

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461707)

Are there not already such a clause that makes international treaties able to override the constitution?

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41462065)

Only if ratified/implemented by act of Congress.

Re:Trumping laws (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460333)

"Base13: "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" "Six by nine. Forty two." "That's it. That's all there is.""
No. You still get fifty four. It doesn't matter how you represent that amount, the amount is still the same. So "6 x 9 = 42" is correct, but "six times nine is forty two" isn't.

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460607)

Also, Douglas Adams already has been on the record by saying he doesn't make jokes in Base 13.

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460807)

Also, Douglas Adams already has been on the record by saying he doesn't make jokes in Base 13.

And he also never lies which means that the HHGTTG is completely nonfictional.

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461021)

Fallacious argument: writing fiction is not the same as lying.

Re:Trumping laws (1)

mcvos (645701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461499)

"Base13: "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" "Six by nine. Forty two." "That's it. That's all there is.""
No. You still get fifty four. It doesn't matter how you represent that amount, the amount is still the same. So "6 x 9 = 42" is correct, but "six times nine is forty two" isn't.

That's not how it works. Fifty four is itself a representation of an amount. That amount is represented by 54 in base 10, and 42 in base 13.

Re:Trumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460537)

Have a closer look at some of the executive orders that have come out in the last few decades. You'll find that many of them implement by soft laws things that the House and Senate wouldn't pass. For example, the House wouldn't ratify Agenda 21 when George H. Bush signed it and brought it home for ratification. The latest related executive order now allows the government to confiscate rural property if it is not used in acceptably sustainable methods. This allows the government to start confiscating land to create the wild zones that people will not be allowed to occupy or even visit. Google up the Agenda 21 Doom map of the United States.

Re:Trumping laws (2)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461137)

Wow... You gotta loosen up those tinfoil hats every now and then and let some blood in, you'll end up turning your grey matter into cottage cheese. See we know that global climate change is happening because animal migrations are showing signs of shifting latitudes. So this is just about providing north-south corridors through low populated regions to aid those animals who would be endangered by climate change to move someplace more conducive, without ending up road kill. Comprendo? Harrison Ford [youtu.be] is spearheading the program to provide north/south corridors throughout the Americas and preserve wild forest. I guess that makes him some kind of commie, eh?

As for taking land that is being farmed unsustainably, The U.S. is currently losing about 3 tons of topsoil [wikipedia.org], per acre, per year. That's faster than the loss during the 30s dust bowl era. I'm sure Wikipedia is just a commie plot, but the sources on the top soil are pretty good, and since there is plenty of corroboration from different sources, as an American, you should be concerned. This isn't a land grab. Its about protecting resources. Land that is being badly managed is going to be allowed to go fallow until it rebuilds is topsoil through the natural process of wild species intrusion. The did an experiment where they allowed a fenced in region to go wide surrounded by a sea of hungry cattle and sheep, the land went fallow and within weeks grasses and flowers thought to be extinct started showing up. The soil regained its vigor and organic content. New plants and bird species arrived. In short, the land regained its vitality and fecundity.

This isn't about some project to displace people. This isn't some U.N. clusterfsck. This is a simple process of preserving America's resources for future generation because this generation has no right to use the planet up for its own selfish whims. Its vital that we preserve biodiversity and our natural resources until we have mastered the technologies that will allow us to create the resources we all desire without any longer impacting the environment.

Switzerland (2)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459273)

Switzerland already has an opinion in the matter. It's legal to possess any copyrighted material when its use is strictly personal and not for profit. Have I misunderstood what I read? If it's true then Joel Tennenbaum couldn't have even been sued in Switzerland. Is Switzerland considered a socialist nation? That is certainly the most socialistic interpretation of fair use I've seen. I won't move there just because of that, but damn I wish my country was that reasonable about it.

Re:Switzerland (3, Informative)

Barnoid (263111) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459393)

Note that providing copyrighted material is illegal, only possession (and downloading) is legal.

Of course, the USo*AA didn't like this and have put Switzerland on the 2012 International Piracy Watch List (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/congressional-report-adds-italy-switzerland-to-piracy-watchlist/). Switzerland took the spot of Canada after they changed their laws to the liking of our *AA overlords.

Re:Switzerland (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459437)

The ARSTechnica article would have been where I read about Switzerland. Thanks for remembering it.

Re:Switzerland (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459465)

Can't somebody just firebomb the HQs of these asshats? This sort of shit is getting into the "gonna create domestic terrorists" arena.

Seriously. Over collections of 3 to 6mb files?

At RIAA prices, how many dollars per electron is that?

Copy "right" is a feudal concept (4, Interesting)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459499)

"Is Switzerland considered a socialist nation?" First, I doubt whether Switzerland's opinion matters when the country's not even a member of the European Union. Second, what makes you think that copyright is inherently capitalist that having liberal copy laws makes that country socialist? Copyright is neither socialist nor capitalist. In fact, copyright is closer to feudalism than to either econo-political systems. Copyright dates from the time when absolute monarchs would grant subjects what a monopoly on certain fields. Perhaps a knight would gain control, if not ownership, of some tracts of lands in exchange for serving in the king's army. Notice how copyright and patent holders are supposed to receive "royalties"? Copyright, or at least the version that says "All rights reserved", is one idea that should have gone out with the divine right of kings.

Re:Copy "right" is a feudal concept (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459555)

Second, what makes you think that copyright is inherently capitalist that having liberal copy laws makes that country socialist?

I don't think that, but millions of other people would.

Re:Copy "right" is a feudal concept (2)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460955)

Switzerland is , like for example Norway, not a member of the EU but has signed so many bilateral treaties with the EU and EU member states that they've effectively become a follower of EU regulations without having a seat at the negotiation table.
That's why it's always fun to read rants by anti EU activists using these countries as examples that you can have a good life outside of the EU (or euro).

Re:Switzerland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460395)

You forget:
1) This article is about the Netherlands
2) Switzerland is not part of the EU
3) This type of law has existed in the Netherlands for quite some time, including a significant backing by precedent; it is also coupled with a fee paid on blank media (CDs and DVDs; due to the rightholders making a mess, extension to harddrives and other media was denied).
4) Socialism relates to wealth distribution and having a social system.
5) Socialism is a good thing, because it stops people from going into infinite debt when something unfortunate happens to them (disease, car crash, laid off..).
6) Socialism is not communism is not soviet communism.
7) The cold war is over.

by the way, Tennenbaum could have been sued for 'making available', as he was sharing the content on a file sharing network, if I recall the case correctly.

Re:Switzerland (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461749)

4) Socialism relates to wealth distribution and having a social system.
5) Socialism is a good thing, because it stops people from going into infinite debt when something unfortunate happens to them (disease, car crash, laid off..).

Socialism is not a good thing. It means people are punished for being more productive (by paying more tax). It is a fundamentally unfair system. Taxing people with higher incomes more heavily to some extent due to practical concerns (e.g. low-income people not being able to pay as much) is acceptable, but I find the socialist view that it should be an objective for the government to redistribute incomes more evenly very wrong in every sense of the word.

That said, it is good to have a system that ensures people who are in trouble have the assistance they need. Such a system should principally focus on helping those people to provide for themselves (again) and providing them with food and shelter in the meantime. Taking part in such a system should ideally be voluntary, but I suppose it is better to have a mandatory system than none at all.

Re:Switzerland (3, Insightful)

upside (574799) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461047)

I love the obsession with "socialism" in the US. Forget about commies and pinkos, here come muslims and socialists. Oooh, next Hollywood nightmare scenario: Socialist Muslims! That would scare the pants off you.

You know, Switzerland and other "socialist" European countries have strict belief in private property. If you Yanks would be able to handle the thing called nuance, you'd realize there are shades of gray.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03european-t.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www [nytimes.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model#Overview [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhenish_model [wikipedia.org]

Re:Switzerland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461489)

If you Yanks would be able to handle the thing called nuance, you'd realize there are shades of gray

Yeah. According to the latest exit polls, at least 50.

Re:Switzerland (1)

mdragan (1166333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461101)

How can you call lax copyright laws socialist? In a socialist system you have more protection from the government, not less. Plus copyright law creates monopolies and that is a problem in a capitalist system, but not in a socialist one.

Re:Switzerland (1)

ais523 (1172701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461167)

Switzerland is a direct democracy, which may have something to do with it. (Although it has a reasonably normal sort of democratic government, laws can also be passed via a petition followed by a referendum.)

Re:Switzerland (1)

Kirth (183) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461535)

Actually, not really. Because that copyright-law DID NOT EVER contain any phrase which made possession or downloading illegal, except for software (introduced in 1986 I think). Well, maybe the direct democracy has helped to retain the status quo; but the idea that possession or download of a copy of something must be "illegal" or something like that is entirely NEW and totally RADICAL and EXTREMIST.

Re:Switzerland (1)

Kirth (183) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461465)

You misunderstood. Copyright is the right of the author to decide how, when and to what conditions he wants to PUBLISH. Nothing more.

And Switzerland happens to be one of the countries where that is STILL true. The Netherlands also. Germany fucked it up, with some wishi-washi "illegal source" bogus, which nobody can verify. Some other countries might also have been subject to MAFIAA pressure and changed it.

And this has nothing to do with socialism or fair use -- fair use is ALSO about PUBLISHING, not about downloading or possession or whatever.

Dammit, I can't believe how brainwashed everyone already is to believe copyright is suddenly about downloading (which it never was).

SHIT!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459595)

Users of BSD/OS. A to have regular BitToorent) Second, Assholes, as they conversation and metadiscussions

Of course they are going to say its illegal (1)

Snaller (147050) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459641)

As with all huge unions its all about greed, and making money. Voters be dammed.

You conflate Copyright and Unions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459773)

Your statement is nonsensical. The organizations that promote copyright have nothing to do with unions. Care to clarify that, or shall we just write it off as nonsense-speak?

Re:Of course they are going to say its illegal (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461505)

Except the EU has for the most part produced and enforced laws that are actually better for the average citizen than the laws wanted by their constituent nations. That's certainly true for the UK - I can't legally be forced to work more than 48hrs a week through threat of punishment or even losing my job by an abusive employer thanks to the EU, but the Tories and Labour would both like it if I could be forced to work 100hrs with no recourse.

The reason the EU often does a better job than national governments is that the European Parliament that votes on these things:

1) Is elected proportionally, and hence directly reflects the interests of the people in equal proportion

2) Consists of representatives representing many different cultures and areas of society meaning that lobbyists struggle to gain a foothold as they can't just go after one party and pay them off to get a law in their favour, but must lobby half of the representatives in Europe, which is prohibitively costly for almost all companies in the world

3) Similarly to the point above, representatives exist in multiple jurisdictions such that the media also can't unduly influence things because no company has full media monopoly across Europe. Murdoch largely controls the mindset of many of the drones who vote British elections for example, but has pretty much zero influence in much of the rest of Europe. This is why Murdoch and his empire have invested so much in defaming Europe and pushing the idea suggesting the UK needs a referendum - because it's a threat to his control over our country.

It's not perfect, the European Commission doesn't have at least the first two protections, meaning it is trivially lobbyable and controllable, but it still needs the support of the European parliament to succeed.

Honestly, if there's one political institution in Europe that IS accountable to voters, it's the European Parliament precisely because there is little room for lobbyists to fiddle things or media to unduly influence the overall makeup of the parliament - it can corrupt small fractions of it, but that's not enough to change things.

GRANDMA, IS THAT YOU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459817)

If I buy a software license or a CD anything digital I should be able to download the same version anywhere. If I own a Photoshop CS4 license, why should you be prosecuted/fined for downloading content you own from anywhere as long as it's the same version.

  Do they have to prove you knew it was illegal?

  What happens when grandma accidentally thinks she needs to pay "$5.99 for one month" from a website to download the spades program she owns on to her new computer?

Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41459909)

Where does this rabbit hole that is the EU end?

Wouldn't It Be Funny... (2, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#41459999)

Wouldn't it be funny if they just ruled that ALL copying was illegal? Through like, a clerical error or something? No more copies of any work! Everyone would just have to read the one legal work in existence and then pass it around! The one guy with an iPhone COULD call the one guy with an Android, but he won't, because both guys think the other is a fanboi. There'd only be one Windows PC and one Apple PC, but they wouldn't be able to E-Mail each other because that would involve copying the message. Thousands of years of human progress, magically washed away! And after everything's settled down, you'd better hope that you get to be in the tribe of cavemen with the one allowed copy of fire! And... pants.

Re:Wouldn't It Be Funny... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460075)

No. You would have to exterminate *all* life on the planet to comply with such a law. Microbes copy themselves like clockwork. The dna in living things goes through a rythmic dance as cells divide, being copied as it goes...

No, to fully enforce such a law, the earth will have to be made to resemble venus or mars. No living things, not even microbes, could be allowed to remain.

Re:Wouldn't It Be Funny... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462143)

>Thousands of years of human progress, magically washed away! And after everything's settled down, you'd better hope that you get to be in the tribe of cavemen with the one allowed copy of fire! And... pants.

Just so long as I'm not in the the tribe with the one allowed copy of skirts.

I lol'd at your joke (hence my continuation) but do realize though that in practise pants (and skirts) would not be affected. Those have no laws over reproduction even today. You cannot copyright a fashion design, or patent one, or trademark one - they are explicitly excluded under a class of goods that are "basic requirements of life" - along with things like recipes (because food is a basic requirement) (you can copyright the pictures in a recipe book - but not the recipes themselves).

This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460175)

... by making mere possession of any infringing copyrighted work an illegal act, much like possessing counterfeit currency is illegal. If the source material was infringing, then any copies made of it are also infringing. No ambiguity. Downloaders would thus obtain content from territories not subject to the same laws as the downloader entirely at their own risk. They either must be prepared to gamble that the site they are downloading from wouldn't be breaking the law if it was domestic, or else they must take pains to really educate themselves to discover how to tell if a particular source is legitimate or not.

Of course, one can probably still just always claim they didn't know that the content was infringing if they were caught downloading infringing content, and assuming that the excuse worked, about the most that would happen is that they'd simply lose access to the content... and much like counterfeit currency, entirely at their own expense. Although to be fair, I think it's unlikely that this excuse would keep working repeatedly, without regard for circumstances.

Because of course, if someone downloads some content off of, say, pirate bay for example, and that they don't know for a fact is being distributed through that venue legally, then there's a pretty darn good chance that it's infringing, and anybody who even knows enough to be aware of places like that also has a pretty darn good chance of being aware of that fact. And to be fair, I'd dare say that 99.99+% of all the legal content you can get off of a place like pirate bay is just as easily acquired (even as torrents) from other, much less dubious sources. So really, I'd expect that claiming that one didn't know that infringing content obtained from such sources was actually infringing has a chance of being believed that is probably very very close to zero.

Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461091)

On the other hand say places like youtube, where there is plenty of infringing material and plenty of non-infringing material and no way for the regular person to tell them apart, would make your idea hugely problematic, and would lead to a vast amount of "accidental criminals". For example I regularly check out music videos on youtube. Some of them are put up by the artists, some by their labels, some by aggregating services like vevo or whatever their role is, and some by fans. Some of these aren't legally uploaded, other's are. It's not my place as a viewer to know the difference, because that would require me to actually read the contracts between each artist and their label and their distributor and so on...

This example extends to most things. I can't possibly know the exact copyright status of each individual thing I see on the internet. Some books are in the public domain in some countries, yet not in others. How am I as a reader supposed to know the difference? The site can even correctly claim that it's in the public domain, and yet it wouldn't be a legal copy in my country, or some other country, thus by following your proposition making me a criminal.

To put it to the test, all you have to do is understand that if the end viewer is supposed to be guilty of copyright infringement for simply possessing a copy of an infringing work, then there has to be a reasonable expectation that the person can find out if it's infringing. Now tell us how you'd go about finding out if any part of this discussion is copyrighted, and who exactly owns that copyright, and if their copyright agreement allows you to make a local copy of it. Then do the same for something more realistic, like a random video on youtube, a random search result in google, a random picture on flickr.

Re:This actually can be fairly easily solved.... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462231)

>Some of them are put up by the artists, some by their labels, some by aggregating services like vevo or whatever their role is, and some by fans. Some of these aren't legally uploaded, other's are. It's not my place as a viewer to know the difference, because that would require me to actually read the contracts between each artist and their label and their distributor and so on...

That's not even counting derivative work issues. Some are fair use, some are not. All affect copyright but only some are illegal (where there isn't consent).
Weird Al loved a fan music video of "white and nerdy" so much that he massively promoted it. Blizzard actively encourages machinima using WoW models - to the point of having a yearly competition for the best such work that they sponsor and give prizes at. So clearly these works are legal - even though they use copyrighted works. Those copyrighted images are actually even grayer in themselves since blizzard actually allows you to copy the game and makes it available for free download (their revenue is subscriptions - not game sales in this case).
So clearly many mashup videos are in fact legal - but many others are not. Parody's are always legal (fair use exception) but how many copyright-bots wouldn't be able to tell you changed the lyrics ? What about examples where the parody doesn't involve a change to the MUSIC but to the acompanying video (compare the missheard rammstein lyrics videos on youtube with the deliberately wrong but sound-alike subtitles).

And those are contrasted on the other extreme by mothers getting sued for putting up a home video of their three year old dancing to a prince song - because you can hear the radio playing the prince song in the background.

This is seriously complicated stuff. Actually complying with copyright law is no longer POSSIBLE. Not for ANYBODY who is online at all.

It just cannot be done. Which is prove enough that it needs a reform. The law is supposed to try and force criminals to become honest men - it's not supposed to turn all the honest people into criminals.

Background information (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460187)

This law is for music (and I believe movies) only. Not for software.
Further: There is a semi-government institution that collects the money and gives as little as possible of it to actual artists, while keeping millions with themselves and "rewarding" their directors big time.

EU law trumps National law? (0)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460553)

Really? What the have you Europeans got yourself into? (More accurately, what have your governments got you into?)

Some unelected pan-government gets to write the laws, and you just have to sit there and take it up the arse?

The EU has made some people very rich, but all this ability to legislate multiple countries is scary.

Re:EU law trumps National law? (2)

lexa1979 (2020026) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460771)

Our governments simply try to copy the United States of America: 27 states under one single authority. Replace our EU comissioners by your lobbyists, and it's pretty much the same... They see USA as a model of perfect organization to develop and maintain the richest on top, and since we pay far too much our politicians, they're the one who want that kind of EU.

Re:EU law trumps National law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460943)

Do they pay for this copying of the US? New patent lawsuit, US vs EU.. ;-)

Mandlesons 2 million quid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460847)

No the lobbyists usually write the laws, the EU Commission just accepts the bribes.

We had disgraced former minister Lord Mandleson, who was sacked repeatedly for impropriety (read suspicion of taking bribes). He would jet off with rich people on holiday, then come back and sign laws in favour of those people. When he moved to the EU, he introduced some major copyright bills, just after his Yacht cruise with Geffen of Geffen records. He denies ever discussion the issue with Geffen, which of course is off record.

Funny, he created a consultancy firm now that he's a Lord, we had about 2 million pounds income and he owns a 7.6 million pound property. Amazing for a disgraced minister who was on a salary of 100k or so.

Re:Mandlesons 2 million quid (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461583)

Erm, you've got that completely backwards.

When Mandelson came back with Geffen he didn't use the EU to push those laws, he used the British government to push those laws and succeded. It was the EU in fact that raised question about the legality of those rules, and it was the EU that implemented the telecommunications act that limits how bad those laws could be.

Mandelson has had really no influence in the EU in terms of copyright laws, only in the making of the UK's own national laws.

Sorry, but using Mandelson as your argument against the EU is foolish as it does the exact opposite - it's an example of the EU limiting the ability of corrupt national politicians to limit the damage they can do in terms of harm to citizen's rights.

Re:EU law trumps National law? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461565)

Go away, read up on the EU, come back when you actually understand it. You wont be able to make the same rant though because you'd realise it was still completely nonsensical by then.

"Really? What the have you Europeans got yourself into?"

A representative political grouping that positively benefits member states.

"(More accurately, what have your governments got you into?)"

No, it was definitely us, we all voted for it thank you very much, because we recognised the value in it.

"Some unelected pan-government gets to write the laws, and you just have to sit there and take it up the arse?"

No, actually. You're right that the unelected commission writes the laws, but they're passed by the entirely elected European Parliament which is voted in by proportional representation making it a far more representative parliament than most other parliaments in the western world. The European Parliament which blocks/votes through laws voted in by Proportional Representation makes it a more representative view of the populace than the UK's government, America's government, Canada's government, and many others.

"The EU has made some people very rich"

It's made a lot of people very rich, but importantly it's made the EU's member states richer as a whole, it's also ensured that people across Europe have basic minimum standards in terms of rights and so forth. An employer for example cannot abusively force you to work more than 48hrs a week, and consumers are guaranteed to be allowed to get a replacement/refund/repair on goods that should last 2 years, but don't meaning that if your phone/laptop/TV/cooker/whatever breaks through no fault of your own within 2 years of purchase, you're guaranteed to be allowed to have it rectified meaning the overall standard of goods has to be higher in Europe than it does elsewhere. There are many other fine examples of the EU protecting citizens better than their own member state would by itself.

"but all this ability to legislate multiple countries is scary."

Only if you're a paranoid xenophobic nationalist kook. For everyone else it's no big deal. If it ever got to the point where it was genuinely scary then we could simply pull out, problem solved. In the meantime though, it's actually rather nice knowing there is an authority who does a better job of looking after my rights than even my own government would by itself because it's more easily influenced by vested interests and lobbyists.

Re:EU law trumps National law? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#41462249)

>Some unelected pan-government gets to write the laws,

The EU is run by a parliament - who is ELECTED by votes in all the member countries. Countries have seats on the parliament, they hold elections and citizens in those countries choose who will represent them in that parliament.

Always has been legal (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460641)

Up to now it always has been legal to make download materials, as this is regarded equivalent with making a copy for private use. A right that has been well established in Dutch law for a long time. Earlier this year the House of Representatives concluded with a strong majority that this should remain legal. I think it is a rather unique situation that a Dutch lawyer is asking the European Court of Justice to judge about a Dutch law. This might have far reaching consequences, and could give rise to strong anti-European feelings, because downloading from an illegale source is very common in the Netherlands. All home media centers are equiped with applications client to automatically download movies on request.

Re:Always has been legal (1)

lordholm (649770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461801)

No, this is not uncommon if the local law conflicts with EU-wide legislation, or if the law simply omits implementing provisions in EU directives. This happens all the time, and have happened for the last 40 years or so.

In this case, the EU copyright directives does stipulate that there _may_ be compensation for private copying, and there are also regulation as to what constitutes private copying. So, the question at hand is: does Dutch law follow EU law or not. Note that national law that is in violation of EU law is invalid. This stem from the treaties, European case law and national law that does acknowledge this fact. I.e. by signing the EU treaty, EU law is Dutch law as well.

It must remain legal (3, Interesting)

xenobyte (446878) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460905)

In Denmark it has been legal for decades to make copies for personal use. You are even allowed to make copies of copy protected materials if you need to remove copy protection in order to play the material. We also have a "blank disk levy" to compensate for pirating.

Now, as the Canadian Supreme Court ruled, if you pay to compensate for pirating you're allowed to pirate. So the levy works both ways - or it would be a tax benefiting private entities as opposed to the state, which is illegal in itself.

As you pay the levy on the destination media regardless of the legality of the source material, you are of course also entitled to make copies of illegally downloaded materials. Now, the act of downloading is actually identical to making a copy for personal use, so that's actually legal if you paid the levy on the destination media. If this is ruled illegal, then the levy is illegal as well. You cannot force people to for something they don't get. Even taxes are payment for the services of the government. The levy is very specific and thus clearly illegal if downloading is illegal.

Re:It must remain legal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461377)

mod-up ^

And I do believe that copyright law is territorial, that despite international agreements, the interpretation of those international agreements can ONLY be implemented into the law frameworks of the specific territories, which I believe is a matter of sovereignty, and should be decided by the citizens of the nation (which is definitely the case in Switzerland as it is the closest thing the world has of a nation practicing direct democracy). So the US watchlist should mean nothing to other countries as it is only a internal sovereign action of the US. Of course the US doesn't have to be happy with the laws of other nations, but other nations tend not to be happy with some laws of the US either. IMHO each nation has the right to ignore the others feather fluffing.

Levy in NL works differently (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#41461613)

They levy in NL works a little differently.

The levy is compensation for making a 'for personal use' copy of other media. It's not, however, the reason that downloading is legal; it's not because you purchase 1 (one) CD-R for $1 that the law says it's now okay to download 20 movies per month. Another part of the law out of touch with reality is what makes it legal.

In addition, we have a levy on tapes, videotapes, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs (I don't recall if BD-Rs as well) but not on e.g. iPods, DVRs, loose HDDs and any and all other media that one could put 'pirated' content on as a compensation for making a private copy of the media.

So even the majority of those who do believe that downloading should be legal due to the levy are being disingenuous, considering they never even paid a levy on the target medium.

That said, two of the questions they seek to have answered is this: If copying for personal use is legal regardless of origin, must/can we have a levy on all of these media? If copying for personal use is made illegal in certain cases, must/can we remove all levies on any/some media?

Re:Levy in NL works differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461773)

I do not think there is any legal or moral connection between downloading media for personal use being allowed and the levy on blank media.

Since I agree neither with the concept of a levy that assumes a certain use, nor with the distribution to a random group of copyright holders, I always order blank media from a country that imposes no such levy.

Coffee shops in the Netherlands... (1)

Spectrumanalyzer (2733849) | about a year and a half ago | (#41460909)

... shows that their government and people are far different from the rest of the world. As a DIRECT result of this, narcotics and drug abuse is actually LOWER in that country than the ones where this is totally illegal.

Maybe their reasoning works for software as well?

canada - downloading media as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41460981)

we have a blank media levy on cdrs of 26.7 cents per unit
now if htis is ruled illegal hten the cria now music canada is collecting an illegal tax OH wait we aint in EU...woot

Propose fees for download volume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461213)

On the one hand, internet service providers advertise flatrates, where you can download without remorse and hardware sellers sell hard disks that can store hundreds of thousands of songs, images and videos. On the other hand, the legislator collects fees for storage media and forbids sharing copyrighted material at the same time. This is inconsistent. Therefore, I propse this solution:

Legalize the sharing of copyrighted material! But, keep the fees for storage and _add_ fees for download volume. Say $1/GB. Redistribute theese fees to the copyright holders.

But how could this be fair? Which peace of the cake does everyone get? Well, the ISPs know, who is downloading what. They could gather anonymized statistics, weight in the relative value and do the money transfer. Even open source projects could gain profit. Below $1 for the download of a Debian ISO every few years or so won't hurt the user. Sending huge E-Mail attachments will. What do you think?

What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41461691)

But EU law might conflict and trump that.

Europe doesn't have that much power, The Netherlands could just simply ignore them and ignore their silly fines too.

Europe = the paper tiger. RAWRR

Utterly Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41462055)

Any sequence of bytes, no matter how long, can be thought of as being a number. Attempting to control or prevent people telling each other numbers is futile.

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