German publishers owe writers €100M in misappropriated royalties


[Read the post]



Here in Canada we have a levy on blank optical discs, the proceeds going through our version of the RIAA to be distributed to the musicians. In return, private copying of music is legal. (Copying via BitTorrent is not. As you download you’re also sending it to other people you don’t know. That’s publishing.)

Several years after it was put in place they started lobbying for the levy to be extended to iPods, MP3 players and anything else (like cell phones) with digital storage.

Naturally, people asked how much of the levy on optical discs had been distributed to musicians. The answer: None at all.

They quickly distributed a token amount, but failed to get the levy expanded.


Well, it was.

Now, if they stick a TPM on it, it’s illegal to circumvent it, so while it may be technically legal to copy music, now it is technically impossible to legally achieve, if it involves circumventing a TPM.

:black_medium_small_square:Under proposed section 41.1 of the Act, it is prohibited to circumvent the first category of TPM, being locks that control access to a work, even if the work subject to the TPM is legally acquired.



So the publishers are stealing a giant pile of actual-money from the poor starving artists; while bemoaning the evil pirates that steal definitely-would-otherwise-be-sales from the poor starving artists?

Somebody needs a visit from the hypocrisy police, probably one of their heavy units.


Which is similar to the US’ DCMA, yes?


Yup, the DRM provisions. Guess why we have it? :rage:


Because Harper wanted to turn us into America-Two, Canada-boogaloo?


With considerable encouragement from the local branch offices of the MAFIAA.

Gotta love Neo-conservatives and crony capitalists (if they aren’t already the same thing)… slowly turned on a spit and basted with their own juices, then served up finely sliced.



You should check in on Canada’s system of taxing blank media “for the artists”.


The U.S. has this system too.

Wikipedia: Private copying levy: United States

17 U.S.C. § 1008, as legislated by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, says that non-commercial copying by consumers of digital and analog musical recordings is not copyright infringement.
For digital audio recording devices, manufacturers and importers pay a 2% royalty on the device’s transfer price, with a minimum royalty of $1 and a maximum of $8 ($12 for dual recorders) per device. For digital audio recording media, manufacturers and importers pay a 3% royalty.

The problem with Napster was that that it was a business, not private. The problem with BitTorrent is that as you download you’re also uploading to the general public. In other words, publishing, which is a no-no.

But if you want to trade music with your friends and family, copying each other’s collections, go ahead. It’s not illegal, and thanks to the levy you pay regardless, it’s not unethical. That’s the deal put in place by the music industry.


If I recall correctly, the wording of the Canadian copyright act (at least, before the recent update) made it such that if you lent someone a CD, and they copied it, it was perfectly legal, but if you copied it and gave them the copy, it would be illegal.


I think it was more a matter of the latter not being declared illegal; it’s just that the former was specifically given as an example of what was legal.


What I meant is that I believe the Canadian levy was mismanaged or entirely a scam, and what little was paid out went to the big stars that were already well compensated.


It seems to me that this would fall, most properly, under subsidiary rights income. That is contractually shared 50/50 (author/agent and publisher), under almost all US book publishing contracts. I would guess that music contracts cover that, also.

And the tax seems awfully low for the amount of revenue that’s being lost . . . I’m not sure how this works out as ethically reasonable.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.