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Belgian Media Group Demanding Copyright Levy for Internet Access

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the mighty-morphing-copyright-rangers dept.

Piracy 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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162 comments

Barack Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601567)

Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a malignant traitor?

Re:Barack Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603549)

As opposed to who? George W.?

Two-edged sword? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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?

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601711)

No, shut up. Give us more money.

-- SABAM

Re:Two-edged sword? (4, Funny)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#43601725)

Sorta... well no, It's still highly illegal and you can get sued for making an illegal copy.
For example: some Canadians got sued for coping "Hurt Locker" (The erotic comedy about two gay shoe store employees and their love of leather uppers.)
The tax was a socialist attempt to remedy the issue but in reality it's just a tax for the sake of tax.
IMHO: I don't even think it's the money Sadam and the other organizations are after, it's more about the distribution control, since it gives them credence to exist at all.

Re:Two-edged sword? (2)

Tester (591) | about a year ago | (#43601881)

Sorta... well no, It's still highly illegal and you can get sued for making an illegal copy.

For example: some Canadians got sued for coping "Hurt Locker" (The erotic comedy about two gay shoe store employees and their love of leather uppers.)

This is entirely untrue, in Canada, making copies of AUDIO recoding for personal use IS legal.. This only applies to Audio content, not to movies, etc. This is also why the levy is only on CDs, not on DVDs for example.

Re:Two-edged sword? (3, Informative)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Two-edged sword? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43602733)

I think "for personal use" and "CD" is a pretty clear definition that doesn't include p2p. Apples, oranges, both fruit, right?

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43601979)

For example: some Canadians got sued for coping "Hurt Locker" (The erotic comedy about two gay shoe store employees and their love of leather uppers.)

Well no one has really been sued yet, people have gotten a notice but that's it. The ISP(Teksavvy) who got the main notice has been fighting tooth and nail against disclosure. And so far it looks like with a bunch of other things going on, they're going to fail in this case.

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43601739)

Their constitution is different, so the answer is NO. But here, you could argue that you have already paid for the copyrighted material, and could make a precedent....

Re:Two-edged sword? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601765)

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

Re:Two-edged sword? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601781)

If I remember correctly, the levy is there not so you can pirate to your hearts content. The levy's purpose is to license backups of content you've purchased yourself.

Re:Two-edged sword? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43601863)

Why would you making backups have anything to do with them? Furthermore, what of people who don't even do that? Ah, forget it! Money!

Re:Two-edged sword? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602079)

If I remember correctly, the levy is there not so you can pirate to your hearts content. The levy's purpose is to license backups of content you've purchased yourself.

Why should I have to pay to make a backup? If I obtain a license of anything else and misplace my copy then the company that sold me the license will replace that copy for me. If I have a backup I save them the trouble.
Nope, the law might be written as if I'm still not allowed to copy to my hearts content but the motivation when the levy was put in place was another.

Re:Two-edged sword? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603215)

If I remember correctly, the levy is there not so you can pirate to your hearts content. The levy's purpose is to license backups of content you've purchased yourself.

Why should I have to pay to make a backup?

Because the "backup" is a copy, and the copyright holder has the exclusive right to make copies.

This isn't that hard.

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603461)

Fair use allows me to make my own back ups. This isn't that hard.

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601841)

In Belgium, where Sabam is active, there is also a copyright levy on blank CDs. But who's still burning to CD in days of streaming and huge hard disks?

Miserable fat Belgian bastards! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601917)

" BELGIUM! "

More like "slippery slope" (5, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:More like "slippery slope" (2)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about a year ago | (#43601971)

Insightful. The only way to stop the other bullies is to stand up to the bully in front of you now.

Re:More like "slippery slope" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603519)

So a bully of bullies? Next thing you know we'll be in a bully arms race!

Re:More like "slippery slope" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602933)

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
          No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
          And the nation that plays it is lost!"

The bard.

Re:More like "slippery slope" (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43602935)

Well, it's good and proper this is being handled by courts and regulatory agencies, rather than that anachronism of elected legislators in a parliament.

Takes the politics out of it.

Re:More like "slippery slope" (3, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#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:More like "slippery slope" (4, Funny)

Lithdren (605362) | about a year ago | (#43603475)

Set some rate, say a 5%...

...negotiate/litigate among themselves on how to divide up that 3%

You work in Hollywood accounting, dont you? Somehow I dont object to this.

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43601947)

Actually, thanks to Bill C-32 being passed, it's not legal anymore if the media has any kind of copy protection on it whatsoever.

Re:Two-edged sword? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602607)

Of course not. Why make money on your IP only once when you can charge consumers on their purchases and their Internet connections, and thereby make the same money twice?

In fact, while we're at it, let's implement a global head tax on the basis that if someone is a living, breathing human being, they could be infringing on copyrights. That way we can make the same money three times! The shareholders will love it!

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601597)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html [linuxadvocates.com]

Hi! I'm the MaPhiAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601599)

Attention!

I have just poured hot grits down my pants.

Thank you!

Should I get a discount every time I buy legally? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (4, Insightful)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43601993)

Well, I know of a Sint Maarten outfit that offers that 100% discount.

Re:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603319)

That's a steal!

Re:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43601771)

No I we should get a royalty on every successful purchase someone makes from their services or the publishers they represent. Since that is obviously one copy we did not pirate ;p

Re:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601803)

How does that work in practice? Oh, you want a 10% discount? Well our price just went up 11%.

Re:Should I get a discount every time I buy legall (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

any one for killing actors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601613)

lets just do it and start offing actors and musicans that worl for labels....no really what good are these all anyways , do they do me any good? NOPE just scum sucking lazy rich people we all can do without

Re:any one for killing actors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601813)

no but these association presidents and any replacements should be punished until these stupid #%@! get the message! They think they can hide behind the law and civility. Just like the central banker, the treasonous politician and the tax collector.

As Iron Man said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601625)

Well, you can't have it. End of story.

Re:As Iron Man said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603331)

I don't think that's the best example. The Gov't ended up stealing one of Tony's suits anyway.

Oh yes (5, Interesting)

RenHoek (101570) | about a year ago | (#43601627)

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.

Re:Oh yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602267)

What about the properly licensed copyrighted material I view over the internet? I'm already paying for the content, and these bastards are already getting their piece of the action. Now they want another 3.4% from the ISP?

Well... (2)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#43601635)

I'd pay a 3.4% tax if granted immunity from copyright infringment suits.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43601663)

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

Re:Well... (3, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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!

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601741)

I'd pay a 3.4% tax if granted immunity from copyright infringment suits.

Hey, did we say 3.4% last year? Oh, yeah, no, turns out them yachts is expens... I mean, turns out the preservations and innovations of our cultures is way more important than THAT. So this year we'll be taking 6.8% from yous. You woudn't wants our precious, irreplaceable culture to dies off, right?

Not like it matters much. Whadya wanna bet we can makes those downloads of yours go all illegal all of a sudden? Budget ahead for next year, is alls I'm sayin'.

It won't be good enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601661)

They'll be demanding more soon enough. There's never enough blood for vampires.

Wasn't Dr Evil.... Belgian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601691)

Wasn't Dr Evil.... Belgian?

so.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601697)

by that logic the council who built our roads are also responsible for enabling people to go and rob banks or any crime that involves travelling!. Get real.

Better idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601715)

Have these extortionists shot in the streets.

Hello (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43601757)

Welcome fellow Belgians. We at Sabam, being sociopaths, wish to tax your internet usage, your radio, and yes, even your libraries. You should be pleased that a group of malicious psychopaths like us have latched on to this particular game, because otherwise we'd probably be stalking playgrounds and public washrooms for victims that we could molest, beat and possibly even cannibalize to fulfill our obscene lusts.

So fork over lots of cash to us, or we'll be forced to start fulfilling our other fantasies, and you will never feel safe in a public space again.

Re:Hello (2)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43602363)

We at Sabam, being sociopaths, wish to tax your internet usage, your radio, and yes, even your libraries. You should be pleased that a group of malicious psychopaths like us have latched on to this particular game, because otherwise we'd probably be stalking playgrounds and public washrooms for victims that we could molest, beat and possibly even cannibalize to fulfill our obscene lusts.

Oh? I just assumed they did both, possibly the same time.

Re:Hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603065)

We at Sabam, being sociopaths, wish to tax your internet usage, your radio, and yes, even your libraries. You should be pleased that a group of malicious psychopaths like us have latched on to this particular game, because otherwise we'd probably be stalking playgrounds and public washrooms for victims that we could molest, beat and possibly even cannibalize to fulfill our obscene lusts.

Oh? I just assumed they did both, possibly the same time.

You assumed right ... Don't tell anyone.

Obligatory Python... (5, Funny)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#43601767)

Well now, the result of last week's competition when we asked you to find a derogatory term for the Belgians. Well, the response was enormous and we took quite a long time sorting out the winners. There were some very clever entries.

Mrs Hatred of Leicester Said 'let's not call them anything, let's just ignore them'... ...and a Mr St John of Huntingdon said he couldn't think of anything more derogatory than Belgians.

But in the end we settled on three choices:
Number three ... the Sprouts (placard 'The Sprouts'), sent in by Mrs Vicious of Hastings... very nice.
Number two..... the Phlegms (placard) ... from Mrs Childmolester of Worthing.
But the winner was undoubtedly from Mrs No-Supper-For-You from Norwood in Lancashire... Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards!

Re:Obligatory Python... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603403)

...which is similar to the working definition of "Belgium" employed by Douglas Adams...

A New Business Model .. again? (5, Insightful)

fallen1 (230220) | about a year ago | (#43601779)

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?

Block all access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601785)

What the ISP's should do is block all access to content that can be purchased. Cut the beggers legs off so to speak.

Re:Block all access (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602051)

High quality video and music files in open formats that will play on multiple platforms cannot be "legally purchased", so this is moot. Requiring that someone buy a product from company A (i.e., a blu-ray player, or DRM-supporting playback device), so that they can use a product by company B (the actual content), is called collusion and is illegal in many jurisdictions.

The laws don't apply to big corporations though.

Re:Block all access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602549)

Requiring that someone buy a product from company A (i.e., a blu-ray player, or DRM-supporting playback device), so that they can use a product by company B (the actual content), is called collusion and is illegal in many jurisdictions.

This is really a dumb line of thinking. Did you complain that every cassette tape you bought wasn't inside of a walkman? Did you know that VHS tapes had copy protection schemes? Just like when I bought a VHS tape I couldn't easily copy, when I buy a Blu-Ray I am not buying the rights to that content forever and in all forms. I am buying a piece of plastic with a copy of the content I want on it. I know I will need to have a way to access the content. In the case of a Blu-Ray this would be a device that plays Blu-Rays. There is nothing sinister about needing a playback device to access content.

sabam being trolled (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZAsa9QmQO8

Re:sabam being trolled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602685)

Suzi Wan [suzi-wan.com] - apparently this is a European thing, since I've never seen this brand in the USA. They seem to make east-Asian-style food
Kimberly Clark [kimberly-clark.com] - makers of Kleenex-brand tissues
Kenwood [kenwood.com] - makers of annoyingly loud car audio systems that make you want to shank the guy driving the pile of Bondo in the lane next to you

Efficiency for a price? (1)

Unknown1337 (2697703) | about a year ago | (#43601797)

The premise of this is absurd. You can't stop people from viewing the material so blame the the providers of the connection... right... That's like blaming your ears for hearing nails on a chalkboard instead of remedying the sound in the first place. So basically if search engines sucked and material was hard to find there would be no issue? Libraries sort their books so that material (both copyrighted and not) is easy to find, I suppose they should be forced to pay too? High speed Internet offers high speed to everything online, not just the illegal content.

Tax the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601883)

> offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials
Perhaps they should also tax the government 3.4% for providing roads, giving users easy access to copyright protected materials in stores... wait, did I just say "tax the government"?

It's no good, we have to kill them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601895)

Do we actually have to kill these maggots to stop all this non-sense? They want to eat us alive.

Re:It's no good, we have to kill them. (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43602037)

Do we actually have to kill these maggots to stop all this non-sense? They want to eat us alive.

yes but thats illeagle and nukes from orbit won't do it they are the only thing left that will survive it

Re: It's no good, we have to kill them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603521)

Naaaah.

Nuke the place from orbit. It's the only way to be sure ... ;-) /J

Let Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601929)

Give them what they want and then tell your entire customer base that they have paid a fee for access to that copyrighted material and stop throttling bit torrent. Let them reap what they sow. 3.4% fee for unfettered access to music, movies, books, and more? Sure!

Greedy fucks.

Copyrighted materials are usually legal (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#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:Copyrighted materials are usually legal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603419)

Shouldn't they charge the post office when I order DVDs or CDs with copyright materials through mail?

No. By their logic, the post office should pay them because it is possible to send copyrighted materials through mail.

NGOs always operate like this (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:NGOs always operate like this (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603241)

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.

[citation needed]

I've been raised in Belgium and I was taught of these horrible massive killings made first by the King's people and then the Belgian authorities.

Sure there's lots of copyrighted content online... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43601999)

... but a whole fucking shitload of it is being freely distributed.... LEGALLY.

So unless they are going to take those additional fees and distribute them internationally to absolutely every human being alive who has ever put something copyrighted online, *EVER*... they really should stay away from the issue.

This post is copyrighted by me, for instance. And people can access this post by going on the Internet and reading comments on Slashdot under this article. Will *I* receive even the tiniest sliver of the funds they collect? No? Then they shouldn't be trying to touch that Pandora's box with a pole of any length.

Re:Sure there's lots of copyrighted content online (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43602867)

well, sure, using spotify is legal. they know that.

but they argue that because that cuts into their local copyright mafia branch profits, the isp's should pay.

I guess the labels didn't want to send them money for music played on spotify so they had to find someone to pay 'em(they get money from radio plays so it's flawless logic that SOMEONE must pay them for streaming music, too, and not just the labels ;D ).

Me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602105)

Belgian copyright provides automatic protection for any creative work. Since there are strong indications that the only reason why people get internet is to read my 'Anonymous Coward' posts on slashdot, I'm entitled to at least a twenty percent cut in this racket...

No moral high ground (5, Informative)

Kalvos (137750) | about a year ago | (#43602205)

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: No moral high ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602501)

Funny you mentioned SPA, since those guys have been asking for a levy on storage media to account for private copying of legally purchased content. Good to know how keen they are on properly paying performers...

Re:No moral high ground (3, Informative)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:No moral high ground (4, Insightful)

Kalvos (137750) | about a year ago | (#43603211)

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.

Re:No moral high ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602589)

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.

Yep, most people "don't like" a shakedown company that claims to be "for the artists" but then pays out based on radio airplay.

Re:No moral high ground (4, Informative)

Kalvos (137750) | about a year ago | (#43603061)

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.

Re:No moral high ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603243)

My guess is that your royalties are chewed to nothing by their letter opening fee, their waste disposal fee (getting rid of the letter), their desk fee (fee for the desk on which they work) and, lest we forget, their fee fees (the fee for having a fee - applied multiple times). Net of fees, you owe them money for having performed in their jurisdiction.

sounds like a plan (1)

zaax (637433) | about a year ago | (#43602237)

Sounds like a good deal to me. All the written material; music; films I can watch for £3 / $6 / €3.5 per month. Though how authors; musicians etc will be up to Sabam. Though I think Sabam owes me a few pounds as I wrote (and a number of people used) software in the '90's.

not a new idea but usually not well thought out. (1)

prelelat (201821) | about a year ago | (#43602293)

There are different countries that do have levies for copy-written works. Canada has/had levies on different writable material like blank music cds cassettes and that sort of thing, they also wanted it to apply to ipods but thankfully itunes proved that content could generally be purchased legally so they didn't. I think that's a good case to look at here. If all you could use your internet connection for was piracy or the majority of people were using it for piracy then maybe I would be OK with this. But the majority of people online at least in North America I believe aren't inherently pirating music, videos and games.

So how do you justify taxing people who don't infringe to those that do? That's like asking everyone to pay a fine because most people speed. Also how do you distribute the money from the levies? Does it go to the game industry, music, video, book, or art? What percentage? It was a problem with Canada's levies, money wasn't ever considered for software developers which I assume have a significant portion of their wares pirated.

I also don't like to be charged for a crime I didn't commit so there's that too.

Fee for "Access"? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43602511)

they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to copyright protected materials online

Access doesn't imply use. Should record stores pay an additional percentage of their profits simply for providing "access" to people that don't end up buying anything? I haven't, and don't intend to, ever buy or unlawfully download digital content over the Internet (I just don't have that need) so why should some of the money I pay my ISP go to an industry I don't use, simply because they cling to an outdated business model?

Okay, for you youngsters, a "record store" is an actual place you can go to, walk around inside, actually *touch* and buy records - crazy, I know, but true. Okay, for you really young kids, a "record" is ... :-)

Which is cheaper? (3, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#43602519)

Every Belgium citizen paying a 3.4% tax year after year, or Belgium citizens pooling their money to hire a hitman to kill every last top-dog in this organization?

Here's how you fix it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602731)

Inform the group that you have a huge amount of money waiting for them at the local sports-stadium, enough for every employee to have a share.

As they walk in, hand them a cigarette, a blind-fold and ask what they want on their tombstone.

Complete firing squad activities, the remainder of the country can breathe a sigh of relief as this leech on society has been removed permanently....

Don't they provide access to copyrighted materials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602745)

Wait, don't the record companies provide easy access to these materials themselves? Isn't the point of their business that people pay them for access? Hey, I know - if they never sold^H^H^H^H licensed copyrighted materials, people probably wouldn't have any access to them at all! That would be the best!

Wrong punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43602887)

Fining these criminals is the wrong approach, since it only reinforces Sabam's desire for the practice to continue. Instead, they should treat the citizens of Belgium like true criminals, and have a mandatory jail sentence of 3 months or so, to be served at a convenient time between the ages of 18 and 25. Then Sabam can be satisfied that they're getting justice for all of the copyright infringement that Belgian citizens commit.

And everyone in Belgium should pay a speeding fine (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#43603219)

Owning a car in Belgium means Belgians have the ability to speed on the roads, therefore the only sensible course is for all Belgians to pay a fine for the speeding they otherwise would have gotten away with. Children! They can grow up into criminals, so new parents should have to pay for possible future crimes by their children. Pets! Laundry! Toilet paper! Where will it end?

What they really mean: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603375)

We want money because music industry and movie industry content moves over your interwebs just like trucks moving CDs and DVDs on roads also pay us.

Oh, and we're not paying a cent in royalties to anyone else who also has their content moved over the same routes.

Solution? (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | about a year ago | (#43603473)

FTA:

>>the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers,....

Ok, so we block all references to anything named by those authors, composers and publishers, so no trace of them exist on the internet (in Belgium anyway) so no one can pirate their stuff.

No?

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