EU could extend copyright levies to cloud services

A new law on copyright levies was passed by the EU Parliament

Controversial rules to maintain copyright levies on mobile devices, and potentially extend them to cloud services, were passed by the European Parliament Thursday.

Parliament voted 252 to 122, with 19 abstentions, to approve the new law, put forward by French Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Françoise Castex.

The current E.U. Copyright Directive allows for taxes placed on products that allow copying of copyright content such as printers or smartphones, that are then passed on to copyright holders. However, the new proposals envisage an updated list of leviable devices and services, potentially including cloud services. In a worst-case scenario, consumers could end up paying twice for transferring legally purchased content between their own accounts, say digital rights activists.

The copyright levies system is outdated and fundamentally flawed, said Digital Europe, a European association representing the digital technology industry, in a statement.

Against all logic, MEPs have voted for consumers to keep paying the hidden copyright tax when purchasing a smartphone, MP3 player, tablet, USB stick and other electronic devices, even if they never make private copies. Even worse, they have inexplicably supported provisions which call for an extension of copyright levies to cloud services such as legal streaming platforms. MEPs have taken a step backward and have signaled support for a system which harms EU consumers, said the organization.

However, the new law, although approved by the European Parliament, could face opposition from member states, particularly the U.K. and Ireland, which do not have copyright levies.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags intellectual propertycopyrightlegallegislationgovernmentEuropean Parliament

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?