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The copyright levies system is outdated and fundamentally flawed, said Digital Europe, a European association representing the digital technology industry, in a statement.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

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentcopyrightlegislationlegalintellectual propertyEuropean 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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?